A study finds Britain’s health service performs worse than average in treating eight out of the 12 most common causes of death.
The NHS is below average at saving the lives of patients with many of the most common and lethal illnesses, a major study has found.
A report by four leading think tanks revealed Britain’s health service performs worse than average in treating eight out of the 12 most common causes of death.
They include 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.
The UK also has high rates of child mortality around birth, according to the report by the Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and The King’s Fund.
The think tanks acknowledged that health care spending in the UK was lower than average in 18 comparable countries studied.
But they said Britain had markedly fewer doctors and nurses as well as fewer CT scanners and MRI machines.
The NHS does not have especially good outcomes relative to other wealthy countries, the authors wrote.
For the most important illnesses in directly causing death, it is a consistently below-average performer.
The reality is that the NHS is not doing as well as its counterparts at saving the lives of patients with many of the most common and lethal illnesses.
The report, titled How Good Is The NHS?, also noted a number of its strengths including being relatively efficient with low administrative costs and high use of cheaper generic medicines.
The NHS – which marks its 70th anniversary next week – also protects people from the heavy financial costs of healthcare and performs well in managing certain long-term health problems such as diabetes, the report said.
Meanwhile, waiting times in the UK appear to be in line with similar countries and patient experience generally compares well.
Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged a £20bn funding boost for the NHS by 2024 and claimed a Brexit dividend will help foot the bill.
An NHS England spokesman said the report highlighted areas for further improvements which need to be addressed head on in the NHS’ long-term plan for the decade ahead.
A Department for Health spokeswoman added that the NHS was world-leading in providing patients with high quality care, free at the point of use.