The Commonwealth Fund, a US think-tank, has re-compared data from 11 countries and – to the surprise of some commentators – again ranked the UK’s NHS as the being the best national health system overall. The NHS comes first (highest rating) for overall performance, and is rated to be the highest performer regarding care process (based on indicators including prevention, safe care, coordination, and patient engagement) and equity.
The NHS is rated 10th (i.e. poorest but one) for healthcare outcomes.
“The UK health service was praised for its safety, affordability and efficiency, but fared less well on outcomes such as preventing early death and cancer survival”.
Triggle, N. (2017). NHS ranked ‘number one’ health system. London: BBC Health News, July 14th 2017.
This relates to:
Schneider, EC. Sarnak, DO. [and] Squires, D. [et al] (2017). Mirror, Mirror 2017: international comparison reflects flaws and opportunities for better U.S. health care. [Online]: The Commonwealth Fund, July 2017.
The full report:
Schneider, EC. Sarnak, DO. [and] Squires, D. [et al] (2017). Mirror, Mirror 2017: international comparison reflects flaws and opportunities for better U.S. health care [Report]. New York: The Commonwealth Fund, July 2017.
There is also a set of Statistical Appendices.
Summary: The international healthcare systems’ comparative rankings:
- 1st UK.
- 2nd Australia.
- 3rd Netherlands.
- 4th New Zealand.
- 4th (joint) Norway.
- 6th Sweden.
- 6th (joint) Switzerland.
- 8th Germany.
- 9th Canada.
- 10th France.
- 11th US.
“We based our analysis on 72 indicators that measure performance in five domains important to policymakers, providers, patients, and the public: Care Process, Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity, and Health Care Outcomes”.
An NEJM article, examining the USA perspective:
Schneider, EC. [and] Squires, D. (2017). From last to first – could the U.S. health care system become the best in the world? New England Journal of Medicine. July 14th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].
Plans for continuing improvements from NHS England:
UK health system comes out on top in new report. [Online]: NHS England, July 14th 2017.
Comparisons are not simple:
Papanicolas, I, [and] Jha, AK. (2017). Challenges in international comparison of health care systems. JAMA. July 27th 2017. [Epub ahead of print].