A study conducted by The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation based in the United States, determined Britain has the best healthcare system in comparison with the healthcare systems of 11 developed countries. The main aim of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high performing health care system in the US though better access, improved quality and greater efficiency. The study is undertaken regularly to look at the different approaches of healthcare organisations in wealthy nations and how delivery contributes to performance.
Healthcare System Ranking of the 11 countries:
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- United States
The most recent study measured performance in Care Process, Access, Administrative Efficiency, Equity and Health Care Outcomes which were ranked according to 72 indicators. To conduct the study, data was collected from a variety of sources including surveys of primary care physicians and patients, and the World Health Organisation (WHO). No single country ranked first consistently across all domains or measures.
United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are the top performing countries in the Care Process domain
The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand were demonstrated to be the top performing countries in the Care Process domain. Australia was found to have the best Health Care Outcomes but just missed out on the top spot due to deficiencies in Equity, which compared performance according to high and low-income patients. This is the second consecutive year Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) has been named the best health care system, which over the last decade has seen a large decline in mortality relatable to health care thought to be the result of increased funding to screening services.
Healthcare systems in the top three countries are different
The study found that the healthcare systems in the top three countries are quite different which suggests that quality performance can be achieved through a variety of approaches. In 2014 Britain spent just under 10% of national income on health care compared with 16.6% in the US but the US ranked lower partly because in the US 44% of low incomes had difficulty accessing healthcare whereas it was just 7% in the UK. The US is the only high-income country to lack universal health insurance coverage.
The full report and presentation, entitled Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U. S Health Care, can be obtained via The Commonwealth Fund website.
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