NHS crisis exposed in new report showing it has fewer beds, scanners and doctors than other countries’ health services
- Research by the King’s Fund found that the UK spends below average on health care per capita
- It also said the NHS is ‘significantly’ underperforming on life expectancy and cancer
Our healthcare system is failing to deliver world-class care because there are fewer beds, scanners and doctors than in many developed countries, a report today warns.
The UK also spends less than average on healthcare per person and significantly underperforms on key outcomes such as life expectancy and cancer survival.
Researchers at think tank The King’s Fund said their analysis shows the UK is ‘in no way where we should be’ with regard to these measures.
They added that the NHS’s ‘beloved British institution’ has ‘sadly seen better days’.
The findings come ahead of the NHS’s 75th anniversary on July 5, when health leaders plan to trumpet its achievements.
Our healthcare system is failing to deliver world-class care because there are fewer beds, scanners and doctors than in many developed countries, a report today warns. File photo of hospital ward
The study examines healthcare in 19 countries – the original 15 member states of the European Union, excluding Luxembourg, plus the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
It found that the NHS offers good protection against the ‘potentially catastrophic costs of ill health’ and is one of the most efficiently managed.
But it has “strikingly few key clinical staff” with fewer doctors and nurses and greater reliance on internationally trained workers. The UK has just three doctors per 1,000 people, while Greece has 6.3.
Britain also ranks last out of 19 countries in the number of CT and MRI scanners per person.
Meanwhile, this country has 2.5 beds per 1,000 inhabitants compared to an average of 3.2, placing it second last. Germany, on the other hand, has 7.9 beds per 1,000.
Among the countries assessed, the UK has one of the lowest levels of male and female life expectancy, with a notable drop since the Covid pandemic.
Britain also has more deaths from treatable diseases such as heart attacks and strokes than most others and below-average survival rates for many serious cancers, such as breast and lung cancer.
A Department of Health spokesperson said up to £14.1bn is being invested to improve services and reduce waiting lists.