The NHS has once more been ranked as the world’s best healthcare system, having been rated against 11 comparable nations.
It was particularly praised for its safety, affordability and efficiency.
There is clearly room for improvement, though, as the service did not perform so well on issues such early death and cancer survival.
Research was conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, a US think tank, and examined countries across the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, France and Germany.
The United States healthcare system also finished bottom of the pile in common with the last survey.
This was a conducted three years ago, at which time the UK also finished top of the pile.
And this is despite the fact that the NHS currently faces some of the strictest financial restrictions in the history of healthcare in Britain.
Evidence has also indicated that waiting times for Accident and Emergency have been consistently increasing.
In compiling the final report, the NHS was praised for the safety and quality of its care, the systems in place to prevent ill-health, such as vaccinations and screening and the speed at which people get help.
It is also notable that equitable access to healthcare services regardless of income was delivered in a superior fashion in the NHS to any other healthcare system.
The overall rankings were as follows:
4 = New Zealand
4 = Norway
6 = Sweden
6 = Switzerland
Commenting on the report, England’s Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt welcomed the performance of the NHS.
“These outstanding results are a testament to the dedication of NHS staff, who despite pressure on the front line are delivering safer, more compassionate care than ever. Ranked the best healthcare system of 11 wealthy countries, the NHS has again showed why it is the single thing that makes us most proud to be British.”
But Kate Andrews, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, conversely suggested that the NHS was “far from being the envy of the world”.
“The UK has one of the highest rates of avoidable deaths in western Europe, and tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year if NHS patients with serious conditions such as cancer were treated by social health insurance systems in neighbouring countries, such as Belgium and Germany. It is not just low-income earners who receive poor care, the NHS’s provision of care is equally poor for everybody, irrespective of income,” Andrews commented.