Some worrying comparisons

The national NHS news remains worrying. Today we have news of junior doctors voting on a strike. A new OECD report says that Britain now comes low in the international league tables for most categories of national healthcare.

Male expectation of life at birth comes 14th out of 34, and 24th for women. Cancer 5 year survival rates are 21 out of 23 nations for cervical cancer, and 20 out of 23 for both breast and bowel cancer. For surviving a heart attack we come 20th out of 32 nations, and for surviving a stroke 19th out of 31 nations. For unnecessary hospital admissions for asthma or lung disease due to poor care at home we are ranked 22 out of 34 nations.

The OECD estimate that to bring the NHS up to just OECD average performance would require an extra 26,500 doctors and 47,700 extra nurses at a cost of an extra £5 billion per year. Britain currently spends £2,100 per person on healthcare, slightly below the OECD average. Another report this week suggests that one quarter of all cancer diagnoses are made only when the patient goes to A&E already having symptoms so that their average survival time is poor.

(NB This is an excerpt from the Willesden Locality PPG Chairman’s newsletter of 5 November 2015.)

Peter Latham, BPV Steering Group member and Chair of Willesden Locality PPG



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