How does the NHS compare to the health care systems of other countries?

Doctor appointment
3 minute read

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has commissioned a report written by The King’s Fund entitled ‘How does the NHS compare to the health care systems of other countries?’

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. To prepare the report, the health care systems in different countries were compared and data was reviewed in three key areas:

  • The context the health system operates in
  • The resources the health system has
  • How well the health care system uses its resources and what it achieves as a result

The report was commissioned to assess how our health care system is coping compared to its peers. This is particularly in light of the current pressures on the NHS and the fact that we are approaching the 75th anniversary of the NHS service, on 5 July 2023.

The key points from the report found that the UK:

  • Has less key resources than other countries, such as CT and MRI equipment and hospital beds. The UK also has low numbers of key clinical staff which is illustrated on the table below.
  • Performs relatively well on some measures of efficiency, for example the rate at which cheaper generic medicines are used and the spending within the budget. However waiting lists for routine procedures were borderline before the Covid pandemic and have deteriorated since.
  • Is effective at protecting people from the financial implications of poor health. However financial protection is weaker for some services, i.e. dental care.
  • Despite the positives, the UK has poor health care outcomes such as surviving cancer. We are behind other countries in terms of life expectancy and avoidable deaths, which could have been prevented with timely and effective health care.


It is concerning that the UK health care system is falling behind so many of its peers. Action needs to be taken to improve the health care outcomes and ultimately, to increase survival rates and avoid unnecessary deaths.

Cancer claims

Sadly, this report highlights the fact that we are still falling short. Misdiagnosis and delays in diagnosis cancer continues to be a real problem.

A misdiagnosis leading to a delay in diagnosing or implementing treatment for cancer can mean that by the time the correct diagnosis is made, the cancer may have progressed and become more difficult to treat.

If there has been a delay in diagnosing cancer and you have suffered avoidable harm, you may be entitled to claim compensation. To be successful in a claim, you need to show:

  • That an avoidable, negligent mistake or omission occurred
  • That this caused harm, such as progression of the cancer or worse outcome

We are here to help

When clients instruct a clinical negligence solicitor, it is because they have been let down by the medical profession.

We recognise the devastating impact that a delay in diagnosis of your cancer and/or treatment can have. Our team at Enable Law will work with you to determine what happened, whether the care provided was substandard and are committed to helping you get the answers you need.

If you have questions about the care you received and believe delays occurred or mistakes were made, we are here to help. Contact our team of dedicated cancer specialists today.

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