Responding to a report published today by the Commonwealth Fund, which judged the NHS as the best, safest and most affordable healthcare system out of 11 countries analysed, BMA council chair, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, said:
“This report provides clear evidence that the NHS is one of the top-performing healthcare systems in the world, and the most cost-effective in this study.
“We need to make sure our NHS is protected, invested in and maintained, especially as a combination of rising patient demand, staff shortages and falling funding is seeing the health service reach breaking point. These pressures may be a factor in why the NHS has scored lower in the report’s comparison of health outcomes. However, the study also shows the UK to be one of the worst funded health systems. It is unfortunate that funding for public health and social care has been drastically cut, with large chunks of funding set aside for “sustainability and transformation” in England being used to plug holes in hospital finances, and with local decision makers being told to find billions of pounds of efficiency savings.
“To ensure we stay at the top, as well as improve health outcomes, the NHS needs an end to the short-termism that has plagued the delivery of health care for too long and the government to agree a long-term, credible plan to deliver the fully funded and supported NHS that staff want and patients deserve.”