NHS holds on to top spot in healthcare survey
Reported in The Guardian (14 July 2017): Commonwealth Fund analysis of healthcare systems in 11 nations finds NHS is the best, safest and most affordable
The NHS has been judged the best, safest and most affordable healthcare system out of 11 countries analysed and ranked by experts from the influential Commonwealth Fund health thinktank.
It is the second time in a row that the study, which is undertaken every three years, has found the UK to have the highest-rated health system.
The NHS has held on to the top spot despite the longest budget squeeze in its 69-year history, serious understaffing and the disruption caused by a radical restructuring of the service in England in 2013.
Its ranking is even more notable because the thinktank found the UK to put the fourth smallest amount of GDP into healthcare among the 11 nations. While the US spends 16.6% of its national income on health, the UK comes near the bottom, investing just 9.9%. Only New Zealand (9.4%), Norway (9.3%) and Australia (9%) put in less.
The UK emerged with the best healthcare system overall, just ahead of Australia, with the Netherlands a little further behind. A group of experts assessed them against 11 criteria designed to measure the effectiveness of different health systems.
“The UK stands out as a top performer in most categories except for healthcare outcomes, where it ranks with the US near the bottom,” according to the Mirror, Mirror 2017 report from the US-based Commonwealth Fund.