2020 WBG Briefing: Health and Gender

Date Posted: Wednesday 26th February 2020

March 2020


You can view and download our full briefing here.

Key points:

  • 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.

You can view and download our full briefing here.