Brits spent record amount on healthcare in 2023

Published 20th May 2024 by PB Admin

In 2023, UK citizens spent a record £32 billion on their health – up from £29.8 billion in 2022. As the cost of prescriptions in England rises to nearly £10, a leading expert says it’s great to see Brits are becoming more health-conscious, but how much of this spending is from choice, and how much from necessity?

The latest consumer spending figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal UK households spent a record £32.3 billion on health products and services in 2023, up £2.5 billion (8.3%) over 2022’s £29.8 billion. 

Last year, patients spent £8.6 billion on pharmaceutical products such as medicines, vaccines and vitamins, up from 2022’s £7.9 billion. Brits also spent £4.2 billion on consultations with doctors and specialists and £4 billion on dentists and hygienists.

They also splashed £1.3 billion on acupuncturists, aromatherapists and reflexologists, although this figure also includes private nurses and midwives.

One of the most significant amounts of household expenditure was £10 billion on in-patient hospital services, including medical care, meals and accommodation charges. This was another new record, up from just over £9 billion in 2022.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan, clinical lead at London Medical Laboratory, says, "It is great that Brits are now spending more on preventative healthcare measures, such as vitamins, acupuncturists and elective finger-prick blood tests and vaccinations. However, it is concerning that a growing amount of our household spending is going on health issues that the NHS is increasingly unable to fund.

"For example, we spent £657 million on therapeutic equipment last year, that’s items such as spectacles and contact lenses, hearing aids and wheelchairs.

"Until 1986, the NHS offered free eye tests and glasses for everyone. Similarly, NHS dentistry was initially free. Today, even under the NHS, crowns and bridges will cost most Brits over £260, and that’s if you can find an NHS dentist in your area. It’s small wonder that we are now spending £4 billion on dental services, up from £3.6 billion in 2022.

"Patients are proactively choosing to spend their money on healthcare products to help ensure they remain healthier and fitter for longer. This in turn will reduce the burden on the NHS. It’s a virtuous circle."

Patients have shown an interest in accessing finger-prick blood tests, to be taken in their own home. It has created an easy and affordable way to access information about their health.

"London Medical Laboratory’s General Health Profile blood test monitors seven key areas of health. It includes muscle and bone profile, liver and kidney function, risk of diabetes, cholesterol levels, iron levels and even the risk of gout. For full details, see:".

PB Admin

PB Admin

Published 20th May 2024

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