If Brits need a reason to be proud of the NHS, they should turn to this recently published report by the Commonwealth Fund. 11 industrialized countries were ranked on healthcare quality and access and the UK came out on top (and the US took the bottom spot). And more good news for the NHS - despite having the lowest outcomes, the US spent over twice on healthcare per person than the UK did in 2011 ($8,508 compared to $3,406). I hope this can serve as an rallying cry for American physicians and policy makers - clearly quality healthcare and access does not come with bigger budgets alone. If anything the UK/US comparison speaks to the importance of government support for health services and the failure of the private sector and the free market in promoting health outcomes. I know the NHS can be aggravating at times, but on any sort of international survey or comparsion ... it comes out looking pretty darn good!
The U.S. spent $8,508 per person on healthcare in 2011 compared with $3,406 in the United Kingdom. In addition to high costs, the U.S. fared poorly on several measures. It ranked last among the 11 industrialized countries on infant mortality.