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.”
It revealed Britain performed poorly in some areas 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.
US lead author Dr Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, said: “What we have found about health care access and quality is disturbing.