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.’