This story is over 5 years old.


The UK Is the Best Place in the World to Die, Says New Study

It's the second time in five years that the UK's end-of-life care has been recognized as the best in the world.

Photo by Graham Horton

READ: A New Service Will Remove Tattoos from Your Body After You Die

A new study comparing end-of-life care in 80 countries across the world ranked the UK number one for the second time in five years.

The study, carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit, compared countries on a set of five criteria, including palliative and healthcare environment, human resources, affordability of care, quality of care, and community engagement. It cites an "extensive integration of palliative care into its National Health Service, and a strong hospice movement" as the reason for the UK's success. The UK also earned the top score in quality of care.

Wealthier countries tended to rank highest, with Australia and New Zealand in second and third place, and the USA and Canada in ninth and 11th, respectively. The highest-ranking Asian countries were Taiwan in sixth place and Singapore in 12th. China and India's rankings in 67th and 71st place were deemed worrying in light of their population size, with cardiovascular disease being responsible for over a third of all deaths in China in 2012.

Mongolia's ranking at 28th was credited to the personal mission of one Dr. Odontuya Davaasuren, who spearheaded the development of a Mongolian Palliative Care Society in 2000 and has campaigned extensively for policy reform.

Despite its ranking, the study notes necessary improvements to the UK palliative care provision, recognizing figures released by Age UK that show a 19 percent rise in the number of patients kept in hospital unnecessarily while waiting for community or social care in the last year.