Playing around with OECD health expenditure data (is US public health spending really higher than UK?)

The OECD has loads of data on health expenditure in the 25 or so countries that make up the wealthy and democratic countries.

Inspired by @bengoldacre‘s arguments with someone on whether the Swiss govt provided better value healthcare than the UK govt, I wanted to go look at data on public health spending (i.e. not including private stuff).

The first chart is thus pretty interesting, using IBM’s many eyes easy-visualisation tool…you should be able to play with this to get certain countries involved.

What’s crazy is that the US govt’s health spending seems greater than the UK. Even though we think of US healthcare as a private system and the UK as public.

 Public spending on health per capita (US$PPP)  Many Eyes

(or here cos that’s unreadable)

And Google Data Explorer is great too – I didn’t upload the OECD data set, but it looks like this is all health expenditure, public and private as a proportion of GDP.

What I really want to do is show the relative sizes over time in a snazzy Hans Rosling time-lapse bubble chart, but haven’t the time to keep playing. May return to this. Data is fun.

P.S. Me messing around with numbers is probably less useful than some experts doing it – see this presentation of US/OECD healthcare spending from the Kaiser Family Foundation 2011.



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