Ireland's spend on health above EU average - OECD

Friday 16 November 2012 23.50
Ireland has a higher level of MRI scanners than the EU average
Ireland has a higher level of MRI scanners than the EU average

Health expenditure per capita is higher in Ireland than the EU average, and it spends the highest amount per capita on pharmaceutical products, according to new data from the OECD.

It says per capita spending in Ireland (adjusted for purchasing power parity) was €2,862, compared with an EU average of €2,171.

It was also higher than per capita spending in the UK (€2636) and Finland (€2,504), and was closest to that in Sweden (€2,894).

The highest per capita spending was in the Netherlands - a country selected as a model for health care reform by Fine Gael - where the spend was €3,890. All the figures are for 2010, the most recent year for comparable data.

As a percentage of GDP, Irish health spending is slightly above the EU average (9.2% for Ireland, 9.0% for EU average).

The comparable amounts for the UK and Sweden were 9.6%, while the Netherlands spent 12%.

Ireland spent €528 per capita on pharmaceuticals, the highest in the survey and well ahead of the EU average of €349 per capita.

Second highest was Germany at €492. The UK was well below the average at €289. Sweden at €343 was also below the average, while the Netherlands was slightly above average at €370.

Irish medicine is quite well provided with high tech equipment, with Ireland having a higher level of MRI scanners than the EU average. Ireland has 12.5 MRI machines per million of population, compared with an EU average of 10.3, and well ahead of the UK, which has 5,9 machines per million.

Number one, by a considerable margin, is Greece, with 22.6 per million.

Ireland is below the EU average for CT scanners, at 15.6 per million compared to an average of 20.4. The UK has 8.2 CT scanners per million of population, but once again the country with the highest number is Greece, with 34.3 per million.

The report is available online from the OECD website.

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