From NHS is the world's best healthcare system, report says by Denis Campbell and Nicholas Watt.
In the Commonwealth Fund study the UK came first out of the 11 countries in eight of the 11 measures of care the authors looked at. It got top place on measures including providing effective care, safe care, co-ordinated care and patient-centred care. The fund also rated the NHS as the best for giving access to care and for efficient use of resources.Sounds good? But, wait, that's not all.
The only serious black mark against the NHS was its poor record on keeping people alive.Well, yeah, other than that. And how bad is it doing at keeping people alive?
On a composite "healthy lives" score, which includes deaths among infants and patients who would have survived had they received timely and effective healthcare, the UK came 10th.That's 10th out of 11.
To be fair to the NHS, health system comparisons within countries are notoriously difficult let alone between countries. In addition, most these type of reports are written by industry insiders with some sort of policy axe to grind and budgets to be enhanced.
So the real issue is perhaps with the report writers (and the media reporting it) rather than the NHS. What kind of sane health system looks so bureaucratically good but allows its patients to die at greater rates than just about everyone else. Something is amiss and it may or may not be the NHS.