The 2011 Commonwealth Fund health policy survey of primary care-centred healthcare systems shows that UK general practice scores highest for quality of care, co-ordination of care, ease of access, the unique patient-doctor relationship and value for money.
The survey measured UK performance compared to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States across a set of five main areas. The UK came out top, equal top, or near the top in most of the 27 indicators.
The UK results showed that:
- 88 percent of respondents felt care quality was excellent/very good
- 81 percent said they had a health professional they could easily call for advice
- 69 percent reported good patient-doctor engagement in care management for chronic conditions
- 77 percent said that their regular doctor encouraged questions and explained things clearly
- 79 percent were able to see a doctor or nurse on the same or next day
RCGP Chair, Dr Clare Gerada said: "This is wonderful news for primary care and for patients. The Commonwealth Fund Survey shows yet again that the excellent work carried out by GPs in the UK is recognised worldwide, leading the field in providing quality, joined-up care. The NHS stands out internationally as an example of excellence, and general practice is what makes the NHS safe, fair and value for money".
"Every day, we are confronted with negative press stories about what is wrong with the NHS but this is a good news story that all GPs and their teams can be proud of".
"If the current reform of the NHS is to achieve anything, it must preserve and build on the strengths of general practice by producing more GPs, who are trained for longer so that we can do even more to improve the health of our patients."
Antony Chuter, Chair of the RCGP Patient Partnership Group, said: "GPs are the most trusted people in society. Over one million patients have consultations with GP teams every day and this is a real vote of confidence in the care they receive".
"We often take the NHS for granted but comparisons like this show how fortunate we are to have good care, free and available to everyone."
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation that supports independent research on health policy reform and high performance health systems.