US Healthcare 7.5x More Expensive Than UK

by Laura C. Jones

There are those that criticize the NHS for being understaffed, while its long waiting lists are a common subject of complaint about many up and down the UK. The debate still rages over the pros and cons of privatizing one of the nation’s major institutions, but the truth remains that even in its current condition, it continues to help millions of people every year.

And healthcare in the UK compares remarkably favorably when set against systems in other countries, as research from injury claim specialists National Accident Helpline has found. Here, we break down some of the findings in terms of costs of procedures, private healthcare, and the popularity of personal injury claims in various countries around the world.

The cost of fixing a broken leg

With its lack of a universal healthcare system, the USA is comfortably the most expensive country to live in if you need to pay for a major procedure, such as fixing a broken leg. The average American will have to pay £25,550, with Spain and Singapore the next highest on the list (£15,000 and £10,396, respectively).

The UK compares favorably to all three, with average costs of £3,363 for the same treatment – 7.5 times cheaper than in the States. At the opposite end of the scale from the US was the United Arab Emirates (£2,094).

The cost of private health insurance

Residents in Switzerland fork out the highest percentage of their overall healthcare expenses on their insurance policy (69%), which equates to an average of a whopping £4,946. Brazil (58%) was next on the list, although their comparatively low cost of medical care was reflected in a figure of £361.

The UK featured much lower down that table, with insurance accounting for just 21% of overall healthcare costs – an average of £674.

Where the most claims are made

There is always likely to be some cost incurred by the patient, but if they suffered the injury due to someone else’s actions or negligence, they could choose to seek compensation. Using data relating to average monthly online searches, National Accident Helpline’s research found that the US had the highest propensity for claims of this type (330,000).

The UK was next on the list with 104,250, while Switzerland was at the opposite end of the spectrum, with just 150 monthly searches for topics of this nature.

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