The NHS has been ranked as one of the worst health care systems in Europe due to chronic under-investment, a major study has declared.
The UK has been ranked 30th in a global list of countries assessed for health care quality and deemed as lagging behind many of its European neighbours like France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
Experts are blaming the low ranking on chronic under-investment in specialist cancer care and many hospitals failing to meet emergency care targets.
In other categories the UK achieved the best possible score of 100 for treating common vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus and measles.
The study, published in The Lancet, looks at the provision and availability of healthcare to patients between 1995-2015.
Professor Martin McKee, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who co-led the study, said: "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". "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."