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NHS budget will need £88bn in extra funding by 2067


18 January 2017

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The NHS will need an extra £88bn over the next 50 years if it’s to keep up with demand, according to a new report from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The financial sustainability report found that the budget will have to increase from £140bn in 2020/21 to £228bn in 2066/67.

This amounts to an average increase of 2% every year during that time – half the 3.8% real-term increases the NHS has seen since 1978/79.

The NHS will need an extra £88bn over the next 50 years if it’s to keep up with demand, according to a new report from the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The financial sustainability report found that the budget will have to increase from £140bn in 2020/21 to £228bn in 2066/67.

This amounts to an average increase of 2% every year during that time – half the 3.8% real-term increases the NHS has seen since 1978/79.

The report adds that the rising healthcare costs could see ministers forced to increase the proportion of GDP being spent on health from 6.9% in 2020/21 to 12.6% in 2066/67.

The report adds generally that the fiscal position of the public sector is on track to become “unsustainable”.

Richard Murray, director of policy at the King’s Fund, has said: “The OBR’s acceptance of the need for a larger long-term increase in the proportion of GDP we spend on health is a welcome dose of realism, but also highlights the current pressures on the NHS.

“Given that plans for the rest of this parliament will see health spending fall as a proportion of GDP, it is another reminder that it is unrealistic to expect the NHS to continue to operate within spending plans at the same time as continuing to offer the same level of service.”

However, Prof John Appleby, chief economist at the Nuffield Trust, highlighted that the OBR report contains “projections, not forcasts.”

He said: “We will have many opportunities to choose a path of more controlled spending or somewhat higher taxation over the coming decades.”

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