By Andrew Street in The Conversation.
This article is part of our global series about health systems, examining different approaches from across the world.
Once again the Commonwealth Fund has placed the UK at the top of its 11-country league table of health system performance, a position it has held since the previous report was published in 2014. This accolade might come as a surprise to those fed a daily diet of media stories about the problems facing the National Health Service (NHS).
Hospitals are accumulating ever larger deficits; ever more people are having to wait more than four hours before they are attended to in accident and emergency departments; and there aren’t enough staff, as evidenced by the rising number of unfilled vacancies. Even the Commonwealth Fund found that only 44% of patients and clinicians surveyed in the UK in 2016 said the NHS worked well, down from 63% in 2013. If the NHS is supposed to be the best in the world, how have things come to this?
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