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frankzappa

Health care in the United Kingdom

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Health care in the United Kingdom is a devolved matter, with England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales each having their own systems of publicly funded healthcare, funded by and accountable to separate governments and parliaments, together with smaller private sector and voluntary provision. As a result of each country having different policies and priorities, a variety of differences now exist between these systems.

Despite there being separate health services for each country, the performance of the National Health Service (NHS) across the UK can be measured for the purpose of making international comparisons. In a 2017 report by the Commonwealth Fund ranking developed-country healthcare systems, the United Kingdom was ranked the best healthcare system in the world overall and was ranked the best in the following categories: Care Process (i.e. effective, safe, coordinated, patient-oriented) and Equity. The UK system was ranked the best in the world overall in the previous three reports by the Commonwealth Fund in 2007, 2010 and 2014. The UK's palliative care has also been ranked as the best in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit. On the other hand, in 2005-09 cancer survival rates lagged ten years behind the rest of Europe, although survival rates continue to increase.

In 2015, the UK was 14th (out of 35) in the annual Euro health consumer index. It was criticised for its poor accessibility and "an autocratic top-down management culture". The index has in turn been criticized by academics, however.

The total expenditure on healthcare as a proportion of GDP in 2013 was 8.5%, below the OECD average of 8.9% and considerably less than comparable economies such as France (10.9%), Germany (11.0%), Netherlands (11.1%), Switzerland (11.1%) and the USA (16.4%). The percentage of healthcare provided directly by the state is higher than most European countries, which have insurance-based healthcare with the state providing for those who cannot afford insurance. In 2017 the UK spent £2,989 per person on healthcare, the second lowest of the Group of Seven, but around the median for members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The NHS has a reasonable claim to be the most efficient healthcare system in the world. The 2018 OECD data, which incorporates in health a chunk of what in the UK is classified as social care, has the UK spending £3121 per head, France £3471, Australia £3892, Germany £4057 and Sweden £4877.

The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union could make an impact on the healthcare industry if there is a "no deal" Brexit. There are speculations that the supply of medicines to the UK will be hit. As a precautionary measure, the government has asked the drug companies to stock up a six-week supply of medicines and make arrangements for their storage.

wikipedia.org

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