UK healthcare 'mediocre'5th July 2006
The NHS has been rated as a poor performer against other European Union member state, according to a new survey which ranked the UK 15th out of 26.
The UK is good at information for patients and heart problems, but performed particularly badly on waiting lists, according to the Euro health consumer index 2006, compiled by the Health Consumer Powerhouse in Brussels.
The index looked at 28 indicators in five categories including patients’ rights and information; waiting time for treatment; outcomes measured by certain death rates; the range of services offered by health systems; and the availability of drugs.
France was ranked number one, with 576 points out of a possible 750, closely followed by last year’s winner, the Netherlands, with Germany, Sweden and Switzerland making up the remainder of the top five.
The UK scored 436, close to Portugal, Greece, and Spain, but was beaten by new European Union members such as Slovenia, Malta, and Hungary. Bottom of the list was Lithuania and Ireland.
The UK scored well on a number of features regarding patients’ rights and information. However, the survey found there was high number of hospital acquired infections, slow release of new cancer drugs and no access for second opinions. Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxembourg had the shortest waiting times for treatment. Copies of the survey are available from email@example.com.
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