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At the heart of general practice since 1960

UK GPs 'amongst best in the world', international survey finds

By Laura Montini

A Commonwealth Fund survey ranking 11 countries on their primary heathcare systems has praised UK general practice, scoring it highly for access to care and provision of chronic care.

The poll of over 10,000 primary care physicians ranked the UK highly for practice incentives linked with patient satisfaction and the quality of care, and concluded UK GPs were 'amongst the best in the world.'

Ninety-six percent of UK doctors indicated that they use electronic medical records, making the UK a leader in terms of use of IT systems to improve health.

UK GPs were also least likely to report long waiting times for patients referred for specialist care. Only 22% of UK doctors said their patients often face long waits to see a specialist.

NHS Alliance chief executive Michael Sobanja, said: ‘The report shows that the British primary care system is amongst the most developed in the world.'

Health Secretary Andy Burnham congratulated the NHS staff on its ‘magnificent achievement.'

‘This is an important moment for the NHS. The journey to overhaul the quality of care over the last ten years has paid off,' he said at the Commonwealth Fund's 2009 international health symposium in Washington.

‘The NHS is not perfect but it has moved from poor to good and I want to see it go from good to great on the next stage of the journey,' he added.

Greater choice and more personalised and high quality care will be the focus of the NHS for the next decade, he said.

A survey of 11 healthcare systems has praised the NHS A survey of 11 healthcare systems has praised the NHS

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