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How to compare healthcare systems

The Economist, June 30, 2014

Britain's National Health Service was recently judged the "world's best health-care system" by the Washington-based Commonwealth Fund in its latest ranking of 11 rich countries' health provision. The Commonwealth Fund tends to give the NHS a pretty clean bill of health in its assessments (it also scores Switzerland, Sweden and Australia highly). Other rankings reach different conclusions. How do you compare something as complex as a national health-care system with its peers? The Commonwealth Fund makes quality, access, value for money and equity the leading criteria for judging which countries perform well. Its emphasis on access and per-capita spending mean that America, struggling to extend its insurance coverage, while committing a large amount to overall health-care spending, regularly comes bottom of the Commonwealth Fund table