A new report has revealed that Britain's health-care system is a bad deal for patients, as compared with those in the rest of Europe. Despite of the fact that the country has the highest-paid doctors and the second-highest number of nurses per head of population, Britain was described by the study as "the poor relation" of European health-care.
British hospitals have the lowest number of doctors and consultants but the highest levels of the MRSA superbug. According to The Patients Association, which compiled the report, the results were an indictment of the NHS.
The British Medical Association said it showed the need for more doctors. A Department of Health spokesperson has revealed that in 10 years there had been record investment in the NHS.
The department said it had increased the number of GPs and that Britain's MRSA rate was in line with that of other countries. The study used official data to compare Britain's system with those of the Netherlands, Spain and France. The study found the UK had the second-lowest number of GPs; lowest number of GP consultations per inhabitant; lowest number of dental consultations per capita, and second-lowest health-care spending as a share of gross domestic product.
The results of the Comparative Study of European Health-care Systems cast further doubts on the performance of Britain's health system. Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said: "This is a damning indictment of Britain's health-care system compared with that enjoyed by many of our European neighbours. Despite having the highest-paid doctors, in many cases we have the worst care."
Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA consultants committee, said: "A planned expansion of the consultant workforce would deliver the numbers we need to maintain the quality of patient care and ensure we don't waste taxpayers' money by training doctors, then restricting them to dead-end jobs where they can't meet their full potential."