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A New Study Shows The Real Extent Of the NHS Crisis

| Last updated 

A New Study Shows The Real Extent Of the NHS Crisis

The real extent of the crisis facing the NHS has been revealed after new findings have been published by the King's Fund.

The study analysed the health services of 21 countries and found that the United Kingdom has one of the lowest number of doctors, nurses, and hospital beds per capita, reports the Guardian.

Only Poland has less doctors and nurses than the UK, whereas only Canada, Sweden, and Denmark have got fewer hospital beds.


These findings expose the true extent of the problems facing the UK's health service.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The King's Fund chief analyst, Siva Anandaciva told the newspaper: "If the 21 countries were a football league then the UK would be in the relegation zone in terms of the resources we put into our healthcare system, as measured by staff, equipment and beds in which to care for patients,

"If you look across all these indicators - beds, staffing, scanners - the UK is consistently below the average in the resources we give the NHS, relative to countries such as France and Germany.


"Overall, the NHS does not have the level of resources it needs to do the job we all expect it to do, given our ageing and growing population, and the OECD data confirms that."

The report also says that, given the differences between the UK and other counties in the study "a general picture emerges that suggests the NHS is under-resourced."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The UK has the third lowest number of doctors per capita out of all of the countries that were studied, there are 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people in the UK - that is a stark contrast to Austria, which has 5.1 per 1,000.


There are also shortages in nursing staff - Switzerland has 18 nurses for every 1,000 people, whereas the NHS has less than half of that number, 7.9 out of every 1,000.

The UK also lags far behind lots of other countries with only 2.6 hospital beds for every 1,000 people.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, leader of the British Medical Association, which represents most of the NHS's 240,000 doctors, said: "These statistics show that the UK has fewer beds per head compared to virtually all other EU nations, fewer doctors and nurses, reduced access to investigations such as MRI scans, and is spending less on medications.

"Taken together, these numbers translate into the painful reality afflicting the NHS daily, of a system under pressure with inadequate capacity to meet the health needs of the population.


"This is directly resulting in delays and is adversely affecting quality of care for patients. It is also causing unsustainable workload burdens on NHS staff, causing stress and burnout and affecting recruitment and retention."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "As this analysis shows, spending on the NHS is in line with other European countries but it fails to acknowledge that funding is actually at record levels.

"£1.6 billion is being invested in 2018-19, on top of a planned £10bn-a-year increase in its budget by 2020-21, with an extra £2bn and a further £150 million for social care this year."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, doctors, UK, NHS

Tom Wood
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