The UK is the only country in 11 industrialised nations where wealth does not influence access to healthcare, according to a survey by The Commonwealth Fund.

The survey involved 19,700 patients and analysed factors such as access to care, access after hours and waiting times for specialised care.

In every country except the UK, wealth played a major role in access to health care, with those earning less than the national average more likely to report problems with medical bills and access to care because of costs.

One-third of people in the US failed to see a doctor when sick or did not fill prescriptions because of the costs, while the figure was 6% for the UK and 5% for Holland.

In addition, 70% of patients in the UK had same-day or next-day access to doctors when sick. This fell to 57% of patients in Sweden and the US, and 50% in Canada and Norway.