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Asking UK citizens what they think of the NHS is a bit like asking North Koreans what they think of their country; 'Everything in the garden's rosy'. But, as Charles Moore in the Daily Telegraph said (2nd March), this is a position 'that cannot be sustained after 10 minutes’ conversation with any citizen of another developed country'.
From a consumers' point of view, the NHS is consistently ranked outside the top 10 health systems in Europe, usually about 14th, (Euro Health Index, 2009). All the top 10 are insurance-based systems; as the index's authors point out, 'Bismarck beats Beveridge every time!'
The NHS is not world-class, it's mediocre, average, OK. If it were a football team it would be Wigan Athletic, not Manchester United.
Oscar Wilde’s Lord Illingworth opines,‘Discontent is the beginning of the success of a nation'. In the same way, the NHS will never be truly world-class until the users of it realise that there are better ways of doing things, and that they've been kept ignorant too long by vested interests.