An independent analysis produced for the BBC says, the NHS when measured against other countries in treating common, life-threatening illnesses, is falling behind on preventing deaths from cancer, heart attacks and strokes.

In the report ‘How Good is the NHS?’ marking the NHS’s 70th birthday, The Nuffield Trust an independent health think tank has said the UK was a “below-average” performer on preventing life threatening illnesses.

NHS has less funding than the other countries

The NHS does get less funding than services in the other 18 nations studied, the experts pointed out.

The report states ‘Its main weakness is health care outcomes. The UK appears to perform less well than similar countries on the overall rate at which people die when successful medical care could have saved their lives’.

The report also stated that there were some “definite strengths”, including providing “unusually good financial protection” from the consequences of ill-health and being relatively efficient.

An Ordinary Service

The analysis – one of five produced to mark the anniversary, on 5 July – describes the NHS as a “perfectly ordinary” service produced for a “middling level of cost”, which is a far cry from the boast made by Aneurin Bevan, the Labour health minister who oversaw the creation of the NHS in 1948, that our health service was the “envy of the world”, at a time when few countries had a universal health system.

“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.

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