By politics.co.uk staff
English hospitals are more productive than those in the devolved regions, despite often having fewer staff per head of the population.
Research by the Nuffield Trust over a ten-year-period found the NHS in England had fewer doctors, nurses and managers per capita, but still managed to accomplish more.
The comparison was particularly marked when looking at Scotland, which had the fewest outpatient appointments, inpatient admissions and day case treatments per doctor of all the parts of the UK.
But health officials say the data, which was compiled over ten years up to 2006/07, was out of date.
At the time, England was implementing a six-month limit on waiting for operations.
Hospitals in England are now obliged to see all patients in 18 weeks, but the rest of the UK is still to catch up.
The report did not compile any data on quality of care, a factor which is not included in the study.
Patient satisfaction rates were factored in, and showed little difference between the nations.
Scotland faces particular difficulties with productivity due to the greater geographical spread of the population north of the border.