The government's assertion that the National Health Service is inefficient and ineffective in treating cancer has been challenged by academics.
Research published in the British Journal of Cancer by experts from Bournemouth University challenges one of the government's main arguments for reforming the NHS, as England & Wales showed the most significant improvements out of 10 major developed countries.
The study looked at how much gross domestic product (GDP) was spent on health compared to the incidence of cancer in the 10 nations, including England & Wales, between 1979 and 2006.
For every 1% of GDP spent on health expenditure by England & Wales over the past 30 years there was a reduction of cancer deaths of 120 per million people, a ratio of 1:120, which was greater than all the other countries surveyed, including double that of the USA at 1:39 and Canada, Japan and Spain.
Currently England & Wales spend 9.3% of GDP on health expenditure - the highest ever spent - but still below the average of the 10 most developed countries at 10%.
Professor Colin Pritchard, professor of psychiatric social work at Birmingham University, said, "The only way to judge the NHS is to compare it with other health care systems and in this test the NHS is amongst the very best in the world.
"Moreover, the NHS achieved more with proportionately less, as despite the increases in cancer cases, the extra money going to cancer services, was the lowest in Europe."
The report also pointed to similar statistics for all other types of mortality, not just cancer, which it said proved the NHS as an effective healthcare system.
"These results challenge the feeble justification of the Government's NHS changes, which appear to be based upon over-hyped media misrepresentation, rather than hard comparable evidence," said Pritchard.
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