UK health care rating

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  • BRITAIN'S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.

    Britain's healthcare system has been ranked just 30th in a new global study – lagging behind other European countries including Germany, Ireland, Spain, Slovenia and Italy.

    A report published in The Lancet medical journal rates 192 countries in terms of their quality and access to healthcare. The UK scored a total of 84.6 out of 100, placing it on an equal footing with Cyprus, Qatar, Malta, Portugal and the Czech Republic – with an especially low score for cancer care.

    Tiny tax haven Andorra was the top-ranking country with a score of 94.6, while at the bottom of the table, with just 29, was the Central African Republic. Experts analysed data on death rates over the last 25 years from each country to draw up the list which they called the Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index. They found that globally, the quality of healthcare has improved from an average score of 40.7 in 1990 to 53.7 in 2015.

    The UK’s score also improved from 74.3 in 1990 to its current level, but Britain is still underperforming in relation to its level of development, according to Professor Martin McKee, who co-led the study. “The UK has made consistent progress since 1990, but with a score of 85, it now lags behind many of its European neighbours, including Finland, Sweden, Spain and Italy, all of which have health systems very similar to the British NHS and so are most directly comparable,” said Professor McKee, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “The gap between what the UK achieves and what it would be expected to, given its level of development, is also wider than in other western European countries.”

    Reading the above information made me wonder how much our doctors propensity for prescribing levothyroxine to thyroid sufferers might be influencing these figures? Countless patients who were placed on this and other T4 only drugs, report an accumulation of other side effect illnesses. Indeed there are at least 200 other symptoms that patients say they never had until they took Levo and other T4 only drugs. Even worse, they mainly report that they do not do well and need ever increasing doses of the T4 meds just to stop themselves from becoming hypo again. Surely this must be influencing the figures for the UK? Especially as the doctors then go on to treat these "side effects" as separate issues , not considering that they are all linked to the inadequate, or lack of, thyroid treatment they are prescribing. Yet they continue to stick to the dubious T4 and the lousy TSH test despite the evidence we hear mentioned every day from patients who got better when T3 or ndt was prescribed.

    But the UK's health care performance score was better than that of the US, which was awarded 81.3 points, putting it in 35th place. The HAQ index was based on numbers of deaths from 32 causes that could be avoided by “timely and effective” medical care, with a breakdown of each country’s performance on specific causes of death. The UK achieved a top score of 100 for treating common vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and measles. It also earned a high score of 88 for treating cerebrovascular disease, conditions such as strokes caused by problems affecting the brain’s blood supply. Professor McKee said this was probably due to the quality of general practice, leading to the early detection and treatment of blood pressure and better management of stroke.

    However Britain performed poorly in other categories which included some cancers, an outcome blamed on lack of investment in specialist care. It scored just 58 for the blood cell cancer Hodgkin's lymphoma and 64 for lower respiratory infections. I wonder where the UK would be in the chart if a true evaluation of T4 only drugs versus T4 with added T3, or just ndt (which contains all 5 hormones needed by the thyroid), was undertaken? Our current climate of refusing to undertake proper trials and refusing to prescribe T3 and ndt for patients who can not convert T4 in to T3, and using the TSH test which is in fact a pituitary test as a guideline for a dubious verdict of what is a "normal" range, is setting a dangerous decline in our nation's health. Until such times as doctors start listening to patients and diagnosing by their symptoms not just a set of figures, I feel we will all see this decline continuing.

    Lorraine.

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