UK Policy Briefings
2019 WBG Briefing: Health and Gender
Date Posted: Wednesday 6th November 2019
- Over the last decade health services have seen some of the lowest spending increases in their history.
- Budgets rose by 1.5 per cent each year on average in the 10 years between 2009/10 to 2018/19, compared to the 3.7 per cent average rises since the NHS was established.
- In June 2018, the government announced an additional £20bn in real terms for the NHS in England in the five years to 2023/24.
- This was followed by an announcement in the spending review of an additional £33.9bn for the NHS by 2023/24.
- While this additional spending is significantly higher than funding increases over the past eight years, it is still below the historical average and below the 4% annual increase that the King’s Fund and others have argued is required to improve services after years of underfunding.
- As a result of sustained underfunding health services remain severely strained and women – as the majority of patients, staff and unpaid carers – have borne the brunt of these impacts. This has had a number of profound effects, including on life expectancy. Recent data shows that more older people, particularly older women, are dying than expected given historical trends.