Comment - Now for the good news!

With the media routinely telling us so much bad news about the NHS, an item that appeared in some newspapers last month caught my eye and helped to rebalance things a little.

After conducting a painstaking comparative study in 11 developed countries, researchers based at the Commonwealth Fund in Washington DC concluded that the UK provides the best healthcare system.

On cost – so often the yardstick used to beat the heads of managers and practitioners alike – the NHS forks out an average of £2,008 per person, while the US system squanders £5,017 – often with much poorer overall results.

Only New Zealand, with £1,876, spends less.

While the system in this country came top in eight of the 11 measures used, the UK fared very badly on the one known as ‘healthy lives’.  

Among other things, this measure focused on the proportion of patients with a healthy life expectancy at the age of 60.

This measure, the authors acknowledge, is linked to wider social and economic factors.

But if any professional group could make a huge impact here, surely it would be well-resourced physio teams.

Ian A McMillan Deputy Editor

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