Care quality within the NHS lags behind that of many other European countries' healthcare systems, according to a major global study.
Published in The Lancet, the groundbreaking study is the first to assess accessibility and quality of services in 195 countries from 1990 to 2015 by analysing death rates from 32 causes that could have been avoided by timely and effective medical care.
“The NHS has been shown to be lagging behind many of its European counterparts in terms of care quality in a major new global study.“
On a scale of one to 100, the top-ranked nation was Andorra, with a score of 95. The UK's score was around 85, putting it behind European nations such as Finland, Sweden, Spain and Italy, all of which have health systems similar to the NHS.
It was noted that the gap between NHS performance and what it would be expected to achieve given the UK's level of development is also wider than in other western European countries, with a lack of investment in specialist cancer care cited as a key reason.
Senior author Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, described the findings as "disturbing", adding: "Having a strong economy does not guarantee good healthcare. Having great medical technology doesn't either."
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