The UK has one of the lowest proportions of doctors in Europe – helping to explain overall failings in health care, according to a study published today.
Out of 35 European countries studied, the UK came 28th for the number of doctors for every 100,000 people.
Overall the study ranks the NHS as the 14th best service in Europe, matching countries such as Slovenia, Croatia and Estonia.
The Euro Health Consumer Index is produced by Swedish analysts Health Consumer Powerhouse.
It ranks the Netherlands first, Switzerland second and Norway third.
The report marks the UK poorly for GP and A&E waiting times and for its ability to offer scans within a week for potentially serious illnesses together with access to cancer drugs.
It says there have been some successes in the UK, leading to improvements in heart and stroke care and reductions in traffic accident deaths.
Partnership chair Prof Arne Björnberg said NHS performance had been “mediocre” since the start of the surveys ten years ago.
He said: “Problems are: autocratic management of a very skilled profession, resulting in waiting times, mediocre treatment results.”