The NHS: best healthcare system in the world, according to new study

According to new international rankings, the NHS comes out on top while the U.S. performs poorly across almost all health measures.

Health overallj

According to new international rankings, the NHS comes out on top while the U.S. performs poorly across almost all health measures

The NHS is the best healthcare system in the world and the second cheapest, according to a new report released today by the Commonwealth Fund.

Despite being the most expensive in the world, the American healthcare system also performs worse than 11 similar industrialised nations, according to the study.

(click to zoom)

Health overallj

The fund looked at the health systems in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, and found that the UK’s NHS “continues to demonstrate strong performance and ranked first overall, though lagging notably on health outcomes”.

In second place was Switzerland, which has a compulsory health insurance system.

Meanwhile, despite being the most expensive system in the world, the U.S. healthcare system came bottom of the 11, performing particularly poorly when it came to equal health outcomes.

“Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick,” the study found.

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However despite the UK’s impressive overall ranking, the NHS ranked low on the ‘healthy lives’ scale, which measures life expectancy at aged 60 as well as mortality from preventable conditions.

Meanwhile despite lagging behind other countries on health outcomes, quality, and efficiency, the U.S. fared best on provision and receipt of preventive and patient-centered care. The data for the U.S. was also collected before the full implementation of Obamacare, which has significantly expanded insurance coverage.

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8 Responses to “The NHS: best healthcare system in the world, according to new study”

  1. Robin Thorpe

    >the UK’s NHS “continues to demonstrate strong performance and ranked first overall, though lagging notably on health outcomes”the NHS ranked low on the ‘healthy lives’ scale<
    I might be wrong but I interpret this as the service that the NHS provides is second to none, but the public health provision in general needs improvement. i.e. greater intervention to promote/incentivise healthy living will have beneficial consequences. Subsidised swimming and recreation facilities, improve access to fresh vegetables and fruit (and the motivation to learn how to use them).

  2. Michael Simpson

    Complex because public health now largely sits with local authorities.

  3. mzv

    can i draw your attention to page 25 of the report (full report here http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/fund-report/2014/jun/1755_davis_mirror_mirror_2014.pdf)
    the only country that does worse in the one crucial outcome measure: mortality amenable to healthcare (which translates “deaths that could have be prevented by medical care”) is the usa – the usa does much worse than the uk, but all other countries surveyed do better. so in a nutshell: the nhs is better than all in all sorts of things, except for saving your life….
    this uncomfortable truth is handily obscured by the header “healthy lives”, which makes it appear as if this is mainly a problem of unhealthy lifestyles…

  4. treborc1

    Well seeing as both labour or New labour wanted to change us to the USA model, we are even hearing it now from labour about private insurance maybe the way to go.

    In Wales now the services are being cut to the bone so that money can be saved to use for other area like education, it will not take much for the UK to go down hill fast.

  5. Leon Wolfeson

    …And they no longer under the coalition have the cash for it.

    Not really “complex” at all, it ain’t happening :/

  6. Gregkumar

    Hi James Bloodworth, I love your site and what you’re doing to educate people interested in NHS best healthcare system. I’m also very interested in NHS best healthcare system and
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  7. Michael

    Since when have Labour spoke about private insurance.. I’d love to know…

  8. James Payter

    BS. Source please?

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