The U.K.'s public healthcare system, NHS England, has fewer doctors, nurses, hospital beds and CT and MRI scanners than 18 comparable countries, according to a June 25 article in The Guardian.
The report, entitled "How good is the NHS?" was conducted by Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the King’s Fund in the U.K.—and its findings are expected to impact discussions about the U.K.'s publicly funded national health system.
"Discussion about the NHS is often marked by an unhelpful degree of exaggeration, from those that claim it is the envy of the world to those who say it is inferior to other systems," Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust, told The Guardian. “The reality is a much more mixed picture, but one thing is clear: We run a health system with very scarce resources in terms of staff and equipment and achieve poor outcomes in some vital areas like cancer survival.”
Although the NHS is free at the point of use, the U.K. health service also performed worse than average in the treatment of eight out of the 12 most common causes of death, including deaths within 30 days of having a heart attack and within five years of being diagnosed with breast cancer, rectal cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer, according to the article.
“Although the NHS has been under great pressure, this report shows once again that our health service provides outstanding care for many conditions in a way that is both fair and efficient," an NHS England spokesman told The Guardian. "But the report also rightly highlights areas for further improvements, which need to be addressed head on in the NHS’s long-term plan for the decade ahead.”
Read The Guardian's entire article below: