OECD Healthcare Salary Index

Healthcare workers are the backbone of a healthy and productive society. In economies worldwide, the proportion of GDP that is invested in a country's healthcare system is a stark indicator of the value it places on the well-being of its citizens. As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, it’s revealing deep inequalities at the heart of even the richest economies on the planet.

Introduction

There are huge variations in the amount OECD countries invest in their healthcare systems. The United States invests the most at £8,473 per capita, followed by Switzerland which invests £5,856 (-34% less). In comparison, the UK invests just £3,257 per capita, 18th in the OECD despite being the fifth largest economy in the world. While hospital nurses, general practitioners and emergency physicians in the UK do earn more than the national average, this does not account for their overtime hours. In 2019, 43.4% of NHS workers reported working up to 5 hours of unpaid overtime every week, and these figures are likely to have surged drastically due to the current pandemic.

The OECD Healthcare Salary Index is a study released in response to the coronavirus pandemic and an attempt to make sense of the statistics through the lens of healthcare investment. It ranks the 36 countries in the OECD according to the salaries they pay to their frontline healthcare workers, including general practitioners, nurses, and emergency physicians. Luxembourg ranks first in the OECD overall, with hospital nurses earning over £73,000 on average, almost double that of nurses in the UK, and general practitioners earning over £213,000, 40% higher than those in the UK.

The following table reveals the full list of salaries earned by frontline healthcare professionals across the OECD, as well as the bonuses announced by the governments to reward them for their hard work during the pandemic. Only bonuses announced for one or all types of frontline workers in this study were taken into consideration.

Legend

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Health expense GDP

Percentage of GDP

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Avg salary

Yearly gross avg per capita

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Avg salary PPP

Yearly gross avg PPP per capita

investment_capita_spend_healthcare icon

Avg expenditure

On healthcare per capita

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GP

General Practitioner avg salary

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GP PPP

General Practitioner avg salary PPP

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Nurse

Hospital nurses average salary

salaries_nurse_ppp icon

Nurse PPP

Hospital nurses average salary

salaries_emergency_income icon

ECP

Emergency physician average salary

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ECP PPP

Emergency physician average salary

Index

Investment Salaries
Rank
Country
Health
Expense GDP
Avg Salary
Avg Salary PPP
Avg
Health Expense
GP
GP PPP
Nurse
Nurse PPP
ECP
ECP PPP
Bonus
Final Score
0-100
1 LuxembourgLuxembourg flag 5.4 £56,198 £50,061 £4,058 £239,642 £213,474 £82,268 £73,285 £229,614 £204,541 £0 100.0
2 TurkeyTurkey flag 4.2 £16,918 £104,437 £982 £24,482 £150,533 £14,517 £89,218 £31,855 £195,741 £0 93.9
3 NorwayNorway flag 10.2 £49,252 £50,843 £4,952 £140,308 £145,351 £55,798 £57,788 £170,523 £176,617 £0 75.5
4 AustraliaAustralia flag 9.3 £42,875 £38,290 £4,006 £149,913 £135,772 £61,348 £55,543 £186,616 £169,017 £0 71.4
5 GermanyGermany flag 11.2 £35,254 £36,236 £4,792 £143,941 £147,950 £43,727 £44,944 £156,459 £160,817 £0 67.4
6 IcelandIceland flag 8.3 £57,570 £54,830 £3,481 £129,864 £123,706 £59,827 £56,984 £162,743 £154,997 £0 67.1
7 CanadaCanada flag 10.7 £37,399 £36,897 £3,981 £135,876 £134,588 £44,875 £44,430 £171,584 £169,906 £1,143 66.5
8 United StatesUnited States flag 16.9 £64,771 £56,412 £8,473 £189,297 £164,238 £58,957 £51,175 £141,387 £122,706 £0 65.8
9 JapanJapan flag 10.9 £32,276 £28,028 £3,815 £171,316 £148,763 £34,388 £29,883 £212,743 £184,806 £0 65.5
10 IrelandIreland flag 7.1 £41,416 £40,248 £3,934 £134,773 £130,971 £47,860 £46,510 £167,522 £162,796 £0 65.4
11 AustriaAustria flag 10.3 £37,817 £36,750 £4,318 £123,323 £119,844 £54,075 £52,549 £160,478 £155,950 £435 64.7
12 ChileChile flag 8.9 £14,183 £30,534 £1,746 £52,571 £112,862 £26,778 £57,521 £65,658 £141,017 £0 62.7
13 United KingdomUnited Kingdom flag 9.8 £35,379 £35,534 £3,257 £127,813 £128,849 £39,967 £40,281 £158,317 £159,590 £514 61.6
14 NetherlandsNetherlands flag 9.9 £41,257 £39,732 £4,233 £124,166 £119,576 £50,100 £48,248 £154,503 £148,792 £870 61.4
15 New ZealandNew Zealand flag 9.3 £34,643 £33,446 £3,140 £126,107 £123,093 £45,766 £44,651 £156,457 £152,711 £0 61.2
16 BelgiumBelgium flag 10.4 £39,234 £37,447 £3,957 £129,139 £123,255 £46,240 £44,133 £161,040 £153,702 £1,261 61.2
17 FinlandFinland flag 9.1 £36,646 £32,375 £3,384 £135,710 £119,892 £35,679 £31,520 £168,643 £148,986 £0 54.2
18 DenmarkDenmark flag 10.5 £51,370 £40,150 £4,241 £157,353 £123,001 £62,697 £49,010 £125,631 £98,206 £0 52.7
19 SwitzerlandSwitzerland flag 12.2 £70,906 £41,639 £5,856 £186,041 £108,890 £62,392 £36,524 £231,616 £135,566 £0 51.8
20 ItalyItaly flag 8.8 £25,753 £26,989 £2,744 £108,381 £113,584 £28,961 £30,352 £135,654 £142,166 £0 51.2
21 LatviaLatvia flag 5.9 £12,806 £29,693 £1,400 £17,418 £40,389 £9,192 £21,314 £98,658 £228,768 £261 50.5
22 FranceFrance flag 11.2 £33,311 £31,794 £3,974 £113,592 £108,416 £33,361 £31,841 £141,394 £134,951 £1,305 49.5
23 SloveniaSlovenia flag 7.9 £21,506 £27,664 £2,289 £46,464 £59,769 £20,975 £26,981 £138,852 £178,614 £0 46.9
24 HungaryHungary flag 6.6 £10,173 £23,456 £1,638 £47,458 £110,823 £8,870 £20,705 £60,045 £140,120 £1,257 46.1
25 SwedenSweden flag 11.0 £34,826 £34,493 £4,360 £92,768 £92,573 £37,053 £36,954 £119,868 £119,586 £8,322 46.0
26 South KoreaSouth Korea flag 8.1 £24,368 £30,512 £2,555 £70,136 £87,574 £27,081 £33,836 £93,870 £117,293 £0 43.3
27 Czech RepublicCzech Republic flag 7.5 £12,883 £20,878 £2,447 £60,572 £99,841 £12,469 £20,555 £76,395 £125,911 £0 41.3
28 MexicoMexico flag 5.5 £6,595 £18,626 £911 £28,463 £79,045 £13,241 £36,791 £38,584 £107,182 £0 41.1
29 SpainSpain flag 8.9 £24,313 £27,708 £2,659 £55,801 £63,592 £33,137 £37,763 £103,542 £117,999 £1,175 40.8
30 IsraelIsrael flag 7.5 £32,621 £25,316 £2,225 £102,944 £80,629 £47,933 £37,557 £127,345 £99,764 £0 40.3
31 Slovak RepublicSlovak Republic flag 6.7 £12,081 £19,104 £1,833 £61,900 £97,883 £11,437 £18,086 £77,049 £121,838 £0 39.1
32 PolandPoland flag 6.3 £11,156 £22,269 £1,646 £45,394 £91,265 £11,090 £22,276 £56,630 £113,767 £0 38.2
33 PortugalPortugal flag 9.1 £14,999 £19,224 £2,290 £68,475 £87,767 £16,491 £21,138 £86,088 £110,342 £2,464 36.4
34 GreeceGreece flag 7.8 £15,235 £17,664 £1,791 £71,149 £82,491 £21,343 £24,745 £88,554 £102,669 £1,500 35.6
35 EstoniaEstonia flag 6.4 £14,612 £22,409 £1,786 £50,287 £77,123 £13,834 £21,216 £62,960 £96,560 £0 31.9
36 LithuaniaLithuania flag 6.8 £11,785 £6,057 £1,934 £16,257 £8,355 £8,292 £4,262 £65,250 £33,534 £374 0.0
Down Yellow (2)

Methodology

Download the full table here

This study uncovered the overall health expenditure and salaries of medical professionals across the 36 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The salaries of medical professionals - general practitioners, nurses, and emergency physicians - were included in the final ranking.
All salaries were converted to Purchasing Power Partity (PPP) to allow for an international comparison. To calculate the ranking, the average salaries for each country were added together and standardised from 0 to 100. The data for this study was obtained from the OECD Healthcare Resources Database and the Economic Research Institute Global Salary Calculator.

Download the full methodology here

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