Spending on healthcare `could double'

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The Independent Online
Spending on health care is likely to double in the next 50 years as a share of national wealth - but that will in fact be affordable, a leading United States economist said yesterday, writes Nicholas Timmins.

On historical trends and likely future predictions, rising productivity will ensure that while health will take a much larger share of GDP, economic growth will ensure it is affordable.

Nations such as the UK will in fact be able to afford more of everything, William Baumol, Professor of Economics at Princeton and New York and an honorary fellow of the London School of Economics, says in a booklet published by the Office of Health Economics.

t Healthcare as a Handicraft Industry; OHE, 12 Whitehall Place, SW1A 2DY; pounds 5.

Leading article, page 14