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NHS One of the Most Effective Healthcare Systems in the World

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The NHS is one of the most cost effective health services in the developed world according to a study.

The study, published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, suggests that the only country, within the last 25 years, that saves more lives for all money spent as a proportion of national wealth is Ireland. Amongst the 17 countries studies, the US healthcare system ranked among the least effective.

The researchers suggest that these findings contrast suggestions by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley that the NHS requires competition to become more effective.

Professor Colin Pritchard, of Bournemouth University stated that, “The government proposals to change the NHS are largely based on the idea that the NHS is less efficient and effective than other countries, especially the US. The results question why we need a big set of health reform proposals … The system works well. Look at the US and you can see where choice and competition gets you. Pretty dismal results.”

Using data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) the study suggests that, despite Labour’s tax-and-spend strategy which saw NHS spending rise to a record 9.3% of GDP, this was still less than Germany or the USA.

Furthermore, the NHS saved more lives, with the number of adult deaths per million in the population falling by 3951 a year. This means 162 000 people less die per year compared to 1980.

A Department of Health spokesman said that the researchers were, “mistaken to think that competition is an end in itself.”

He added, “We are investing an extra £12.5bn in the NHS to improve the quality of services and safeguard the NHS for future generations.”

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