England and Wales “achieve more with less” on cancer outcomes than other countries

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 11 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7318
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Researchers say a new study challenges government assertions that the NHS has a poor record internationally in treating cancer.

The study found the NHS was “comparatively effective and efficient” achieving sustained improvement in cancer outcomes over a 27 year period that rivalled other major developed countries.

The research was published in the British Journal of Cancer (doi:10.1038/bjc.2011.393). It compared cancer mortality with the amount spent on health as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) in England and Wales with nine other developed countries from 1979 to 2006.

The authors conclude the NHS “achieved more with proportionately less than other major developed countries.”

Ministers have criticised the UK’s record on cancer, citing poorer survival and death rates compared with Europe among their reasons …

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