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Independents' Day

NHS is ranked as best health system in the world

The NHS is the best of all health systems in the world, an international study has concluded, with the UK scoring highest on quality, access and efficiency.

A report by The Commonwealth Fund, a US-based foundation, compared the health systems of 11 wealthy countries and found the UK scored highly on caring for people with long-term conditions but poorly on keeping people alive.

Overall, the UK came in first ahead of Switzerland and Sweden, while the US came last after Canada.

The report said: ‘The UK continues to demonstrate strong performance and ranked first overall, though lagging notably on health outcomes.’

But later it said: ‘Overall, the UK outperforms all countries on each of the seven chronic care management indicators. Different countries, however, were successful on different aspects of chronic care.’

According to the study, only New Zealand spent less on healthcare per head of population than the UK among the 11 nations compared - however the UK, alongside Sweden, ranked first on equity on health outcomes based on income, while New Zealand came last alongside the US.

The report said: ‘Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK score highest on overall equity, with small differences between lower- and higher-income adults on most measures.’

The study comes as the proportion of GDP spent on NHS has recently fallen.

GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said the quality was only achieved through the hard work of people who work in the NHS and the UK should consider spending more of GDP on healthcare to ensure it retained its position at the top of the rankings.

Dr Vautrey said: ‘The NHS is not only best health system in the world, we achieve this by spending less of our GDP than most of the other comparable countries. However we are doing this by the hard work and dedication of all those that work in the NHS, and GPs are fully aware of the strain the current unsustainable workload is causing. We can as a nation afford to invest more in the NHS and increase the share of investment in to general practice. This would ensure we maintain our world-leading status.’

Readers' comments (19)

  • Of course it's the best health system in the world.It's free and you can screw it rotten

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  • Vinci Ho

    Agent Hunt
    'Ensure your team will claim the credit of this success. This government is unique in securing the best system of health in the world under such difficult financial circumstances .'
    This message will set destroy in 10 seconds:....

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  • Anon 12:10

    I disagree - definition and measurement of health care "success" is variable depending on the ethos of the analyst.

    If you were living on the street with no money, you'll want to live in a country where the equity is the best as this will provide you with best chance of getting best care. It doesn't matter how good mortality, cancer diagnosis etc is as you would not be able to afford the health care.
    If you have good income with spare cash, it's the other way round. As far as you are concerned as an individual the care poor receives does not affects you directly (obviously it will affect you indirectly in terms of economy and public health).

    The equity part of the result, I believe reflects closely the original ethos of the NHS and I would be proud of that. But the best health care in the world? Surely Pulse writers have better insight then that.....

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  • Dr Mustapha Tahir

    I hope the Government is listening. Leave it alone!

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  • Jeremy hunt will take the credit for this as our position has improved since 2010! The fact that all the privatised health systems are starting to fall way back on quality and safety will not even register as an issue! Ideology over evidence is the Tory way - they cannot be trusted with the NHS and people will vote for what works the NHS not private provision!

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  • @335pm
    Sadly, you are deluded. People will vite for whatever lie tells them that they can hove more and more for less and less tax.
    Privatisers turn up with their lies that they can save the taxpayer money, government ministers like jobs with big privatisers when they have had their 5 minutes in cabinet.
    They promote the lie that the public sector are feckless wasters, ta da-look at primary care going down the pan, watch the NHS as an institution follow!

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  • Well it treats the world so why not!

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  • It's only because the NHS has deteriorated less quickly than other systems .

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  • don't worry this 'government'is rapidly destroying this happy state.

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