Government clamps down on ‘staggering’ GHA overspend
The Gibraltar Health Authority overspent its budget by £14.2m in the last financial year, prompting it to implement of a series of financial control measures to rein in spending.
The sum was described as “staggering” by Health Minister Neil Costa but is part of a pattern of overspending that stretches back over two decades.
Figures released by the Gibraltar Government to the Chronicle show that since the 1997/98 financial year, the GHA has exceeded its annual budget by a total of £88.2m, an average of nearly £4.5m a year.
In the same 20-year period, the amount of money spent by Gibraltar on healthcare has increased from £23.3m to £119.9m a year.
But while the Gibraltar Government is working to enforce tighter budgetary controls at the GHA, the figures illustrate that Gibraltar is in fact lagging behind other EU countries on healthcare spending.
Current spending on healthcare in Gibraltar is the equivalent of 6.3% of GDP.
Although comparisons are difficult – other countries often include private healthcare spending too – data from Eurostat shows that Germany spends 11% of GDP on healthcare, the highest value among EU member states. At the other end of the spectrum is Romania, which spends 5.1% of GDP on healthcare.
There are currently 53,032 people registered as GHA users, a figure that includes residents and people who work here and are entitled to public healthcare.
That means that Gibraltar’s per capita spend on healthcare was £2,260 in the 2016/17 financial year. While this is similar to the UK per capita spend, it is markedly below the EU average.
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