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The United Kingdom spends almost 10% of its GDP on health, about one percentage point higher than the OECD average. This is projected to reach 11.4% by 2030. This level of spending buys strong access to health care, with low levels of inequality, though long-term care services are less accessible. Quality of care indicators are typically close to the OECD average. Health outcomes are fairly good.
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The United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of obesity: nearly one in three adults are obese. As a result, people in the United Kingdom live on average 2.7 years less due to overweight. Overweight accounts for 8.4% of health expenditure; and lowers labour market outputs by the equivalent of 944 thousand full time workers per year. Combined, this means that overweight reduces United Kingdom’s GDP by 3.4%.
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Resistance proportions for eight antibiotic-bacterium pairs in the United Kingdom (UK) have decreased in recent years, from 13.5% in 2005 to 9% in 2015, and could go up again to 11% by 2030, should current trends in antibiotic consumption, population and economic growth continue into the future. Resistance proportions in the UK were lower than the OECD average in 2015 (17%).
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To become a doctor in the UK, on average, a student can expect between 10 to 15 years of university education and post-graduate training.
Specific country notes have been prepared using data from the database OECD Health Statistics 2015, July 2015 version. The notes are available in PDF format.
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The number of doctors in the UK has grown more rapidly than in any other EU countries since 2000; the number per capita remains lower than the EU average. There has been a sharp drop in deaths from heart attacks in the UK since 2000, reflecting reductions in important risk factors like smoking and better treatments.
Mental health issues cost the UK around GBP 70 billion every year, or roughly 4.5% of GDP, in lost productivity at work, benefit payments and health care expenditure.