The UK is being “leapfrogged” by countries such as Vietnam, Latvia and Kazakhstan who are providing better healthcare to women, global research has revealed.

An international league table which ranks how well countries look after women’s health and wellbeing has shown that the UK has dropped from 30th to 37th place.

According to the 2023 Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, the UK scored below the EU average on cancer screening, emotional health and women’s safety.

In addition, there was a decrease in how females in the UK rated their access to healthcare, pregnancy care and happiness levels.

Almost 79,000 women from 143 countries and territories filled in the annual questionnaire.

The findings have shown that women’s health in the UK has not improved since 2020.

Meanwhile other countries have advanced, such as Poland which has ranked 9th this year despite scoring the same as the UK last year.

Tim Simpson, of Hologic UK & Ireland, a medical technology company specialising in women’s health, said: “Despite significant potential for progress, the UK is being leapfrogged by other countries, which are making more substantial gains in women’s health.

“This underscores an urgent need for enhanced focus on topics like preventative measures and pregnancy care, to not only catch up but to set a standard for women’s health globally.”

The results have shown that female Brits were less likely to have received preventive care in the past year compared to other European women.

Additionally, they were less likely to receive screening for cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and sexually transmitted infections.

Since the survey was first published in 2020, sadness levels among women in the UK have increased every year, going from 21% to 32%.

Nearly 30% of women in the UK are living with daily pain and have health complications that impact their day-to-day lives.

Dr Ranee Thakar, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, commented: “This work underscores the critical need for governments, non-governmental organisations and policy-makers to prioritise women’s health and invest in interventions that put women’s best interests first.”

Taiwan, Kuwait, Austria, Germany and Switzerland are the countries that ranked the highest for women’s health.

Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the countries that ranked the lowest for women’s health.

Janet Lindsay, Chief Executive of the charity Wellbeing of Women, said: “The report should serve as a stark reminder that women and girls needed better care and support.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The Government has made women’s health a top priority and is driving forward a Women’s Health Strategy that is delivering a better standard of care for women and girls.”

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