General Article NHS drops from first to fourth among rich countries’ healthcare systems

Topic Selected: National Health Book Volume: 392

Thinktank says longer wait for treatment since Covid pandemic is main reason, in study of 11 countries.

By Denis Campbell, Health Policy Editor

The NHS has lost its prestigious ranking as the best health system in a study of 11 rich countries by an influential US thinktank.

The UK has fallen from first to fourth in the Commonwealth Fund’s latest analysis of the performance of the healthcare systems in the nations it studied.

Norway, the Netherlands and Australia now provide better care than the UK, it found. The findings are a blow to the NHS, which had been the top-rated system in the thinktank’s two previous reports in 2017 and 2014. The US had by far the worst-rated system, despite spending the most on care.

The Washington-based Commonwealth Fund blamed the NHS’s slip down its league table on the delays patients face in accessing care and treatment, lack of investment in the service and poverty.

“According to this report, our previously world-beating health service is at risk of ...

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