British GPs are among the most successful in Europe when it comes to diagnosing heart disease and diabetes compared to GPs in other developed countries, according to a new report.
“The NHS: How does it compare?” ranked the UK 14th out of 30 for general disease outcomes. In particular, the UK has a poor record when it comes to cancer.
Regarding cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, however, the UK is among the best. Only four countries had fewer deaths from heart disease per 1,000 countries: France, Spain, Italy, and Israel.
Heart disease is one of the most common diabetic complications. Some studies suggest that as many as 80 per cent of people with diabetes will die from heart disease.
And despite being the most obese country in Europen, the UK has a very low prevalence of type 2 diabetes, at just 3.9 per cent. This is lower than France, Germany, and Japan. People with type 2 diabetes in the UK also tend to experience fewer diabetic complications.
The report states: “[The UK] has one of the highest obesity rates in Europen, yet the prevalence of diabetes is still relatively low.
“Compared with other OECD nations, moreover, few UK people are diagnosed with diabetes in A&E, suggesting that GPs are doing a good job of detecting it first. The rate of long-term complications is also low.”
The report also ranked healthcare systems in terms of efficiency and resource usage, figures that are particularly interesting in light of the NHS’ importance in the upcoming general election. The report concludes that the NHS is actually quite cost-effective compared to health systems in other developed countries, with low administrative costs.
The UK spends less on healthcare than comparable nations, hence the prevailing view that more money can – and should – be invested in the NHS. Exactly how much is central to many debates taking place in the build-up to the general election.
The discrepancy in care quality between the richest and poorest people in the UK was found to be lower than in most economically developed countries.
The report was published by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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