NHS judged best health service in new ranking with US coming last

In the US 44 per cent of people on low incomes were found to have difficulty accessing healthcare, compared to just seven per cent in the UK

Katie Forster
Health Correspondent
Friday 14 July 2017 12:23
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Ease of access to healthcare was one of the five areas examined by the think tank
Ease of access to healthcare was one of the five areas examined by the think tank

The NHS has been named the best health system for the second year in a row by an influential think tank in a new analysis of healthcare in 11 countries.

Using data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the OECD and questionnaires completed by doctors and patients, researchers at the Commonwealth Fund ranked each nation’s healthcare provision through five different quality measures.

At the bottom of the list was the US, where 44 per cent of people on low incomes were found to have difficulty accessing healthcare, compared to just seven per cent in the UK.

This is despite the fact the US “spends far more on healthcare than other high-income countries,” said the report, noting that despite a steady increase in government health over the last three decades, the US population has poorer health than other countries.

Ease of access to healthcare was one of the five areas examined by the think tank, along with equality of access, administrative efficiency, results and the quality of the care process for patients.

After the UK, the countries with the best overall performance scores were Australia, the Netherlands and New Zealand, followed by Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany.

Canada, France and the US were the three countries with the lowest scores across all five categories.

Britain was in the top three countries for all the categories except health outcomes, where it was second-to-last before the US.

“While the United Kingdom ranks 10th in the health care outcomes domain overall, it had the largest reduction in mortality amenable to health care during the past decade,” said the report.

The aim of the report was to consider "different approaches to healthcare organisation and delivery that can contribute to top performance".

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