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NHS no longer the envy of the world, says independent report


Daily Press Conference Online
The NHS is no longer the envy of the world, an independent analysis produced for the BBC says.

The report – to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday – said the UK was a “below-average” performer on preventing deaths from heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

There were mitigating circumstances, though, as the health service received less funding than those in many of the other 18 industrial nations studied.

The analysis also said there were some “definite strengths”.

These included providing “unusually good financial protection” from the consequences of ill-health and being relatively efficient.

The experts behind the analysis – one of five produced to mark the anniversary, on 5 July – described the NHS as a “perfectly ordinary” service produced for a “middling level of cost”.

It contrasted this with the boast by Nye Bevan, the minister who oversaw the creation of the NHS in 1948, that the service was the “envy of the world”, at a time when few countries had a universal health system.

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“We run a health system with very scarce resources in terms of staff and equipment and achieve poor outcomes in some vital areas like cancer survival,” said Nigel Edwards, chief executive of the Nuffield Trust think tank.

His team worked with experts at the King’s Fund, Health Foundation and Institute for Fiscal Studies to look at key issues facing the NHS at this key milestone.

Alongside this, they have produced reports looking a finances, social care, technology and the health of the nation, for the BBC.

The topics will be discussed on the BBC Two show NHS at 70 – Live on Tuesday at 20:00

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