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UK has most efficient health system

23rd June 2010

A study covering seven industrialised countries has shown the UK’s health care system as being the most efficient.

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The study covered the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand and America and looked at the key performance areas of quality, efficiency, access to care, equity and healthy lives.

More than 27,000 patients and primary care doctors were surveyed across all seven countries as part of the study, starting in 2007, with participants rating their experiences in their own health care systems.

The Netherlands came top in the overall findings but the UK was most efficient and also performed well in the area of quality of care and access to care.

Efficiency was measured by looking at total national spending on health as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), as well as the amount spent on health administration and insurance.

In relation to access, the study says: "The UK has relatively short waiting times for basic medical care and non-emergency access to services after hours, but has longer waiting times for specialist care and elective, non-emergency surgery."

The Netherlands ranked very highly on all waiting times measurements.

However, the report also indicated that there is room for improvement in all of the nations surveyed and it notes that health reform legislation introduced in the US in February 2009 could help raise America from the bottom of the list.

But Karen Davis, president of The Commonwealth Fund and one of the report's authors, warned there are limitations in assessing performances using the perceptions and experiences of patients and doctors.

 

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Comments

francis Dolan

Thursday 8th July 2010 @ 16:47

Interesting that France and the Scandinavian countries were excluded from this. I wonder why?


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