Monday, 25 February 2008

Mortality amenable to healthcare

The Taxpayers Alliance has recently completed a statistical analysis of World Health Organisation data into performance of the NHS estimating the number of deaths that could plausibly have been averted or to give it its full title “mortality amenable to healthcare”.

Amenable mortality in the UK is 26.9 per cent higher than the European average. It is 48.6 per cent higher than in the best performing country, France. Just achieving the same level as the European average would have saved 17,157 lives in 2004, (the most recent year for which data is available). In context, this is over five times the number killed in road accidents and two and a half times more than deaths related to alcohol in 2004.

Mortality rates have been improving but the rate of improvement under Labour since 1999 is almost exactly the same as the rate under Thatcher and Major. Huge increases in spending from 1999 have made no discernable difference to the long-term pattern of mortality. Indeed 73% of additional NHS spending has gone on wages and increases in staffing. Unfortunately not on Doctors and Nurses but on managers and senior managers who increased their numbers more than twice as quickly as the number of clinical staff.

The NHS was the envy of the world but has been left behind by healthcare systems that don’t suffer from political management, monopolistic provision and centralisation. Any criticism of the NHS of course is almost a suicide note for a British Politician so we are stuck with a decaying, bureaucratic system which only those who can afford private health care manage to escape.

Read the full report at

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