Britain’s health service was second worst of 19 examined across the world examined for saving lives, with only the United States faring worse according to a report out this morning.

The report by the King’s Fund found that the  UK is worst at saving stroke victims while ‘underperforming significantly’ on cancer and life expectancy

The think tanks also said that The UK has below-average health spending per person compared to peer countries.

It lags behind other countries in its capital investment, with substantially fewer key physical resources and strikingly low levels of key clinical staff, including doctors and nurses.

One area where the UK performs relatively well is providing universal health coverage with a low level of private spending. But financial protection is weaker for some services, such as dental care.

The study was draw up ahead of the 75th anniversary of the NHS and showed long-term trends but also “seismic” falls in routine healthcare activity during the pandemic when other countries were able to keep functioning.

Itstopped by far the greatest proportion of operations such as hip replacements, knee surgery and cataract surgery, fuelling record waiting lists.

While cataract surgery fell by 47 per cent in Britain between 2019 and 2020, Germany saw a dip of just three per cent.

The UK cut hip replacements and knee replacements by 46 per cent and 68 per cent respectively; in Finland the figures were four and three per cent.

Interviewed this morning Rishi Sunak conceded the UK is “behind other countries” in some areas of healthcare and said there is “work to do” to improve the NHS.

Well, one of my five priorities is to cut NHS waiting lists. That is why we have put record sums into the NHS since I became Prime Minister, with record numbers of doctors, nurses, and new ways of doing things which are starting to make a difference and we are seeing that in the numbers but of course there is work to do.

“But we also need to make the decisions that will modernise the NHS for the long term. Today’s example, rolling out lung cancer screening, it will really help improve survival rates for lung cancer, something where we are behind other countries but today’s announcement will help fix that.

“But also later this week we will be making a really important announcement, for the first time in its history the NHS will have a long term workforce plan to make sure that we hire the doctors, the nurses, and all the other GPs and medical staff that we need for the long term, reduce our reliance on foreign-trained clinical staff.

“Those are the right long term decisions for the NHS and that is what I am interested in doing.”


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