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Bulletin

The OISSS electronic monitoring bulletin is disseminated free of charge to subscribers every two weeks in French and English. The Bulletin monitors current news, upcoming events, and publications related to reforms of healthcare systems around the world, in particular in OECD countries and countries of the Americas.

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Headlines

Australia - Goverment expenditure on home care rises, report shows

According to the Report on Government Services, Australia's government spent $5.1 billion on home care in the past year, up from $4.5 billion in 2017 and $3.8 billion five years ago. The amount represents about a third of current total aged care expenditures of $18.4 billion. In 2018, almost one million older Australians received home care.

Canada - Physician payment increases slowing in Canada

Increases to payments to Canadian-based physicians are slowing across the country, according to the latest information published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). In 2016–2017, total clinical payments to physicians increased 2.8% (to $26.4 billion), which is the lowest single-year increase since CIHI began reporting this data in 2000.

Canada - British Columbia: Provincial health officer releases public health report

This report by British Columbia's health officer shows that the overall health of the province's inhabitants remains good. Mortality due to preventable causes and diabetes and hepatitis C incidence all continue to decrease, although local disparities in life expectancy are worsening. The report makes a number of recommendations.

Portugal - Portuguese Health Literacy Action Plan helps people to help themselves

Portugal has initiated a Health Literacy Action Plan to encourage citizen participation in healthcare decisions. The plan focuses on interventions to increase health literacy and enhance peoples' ability to navigate the health service and improve self-care and disease management. Surveys show that 38% of the Portuguese population have poor levels of health literacy.

UK - New research identifies social factors influencing why people attend A&E

A survey of disadvantaged neighbourhoods has identified social factors that influence use of accident & emergency (A&E) departments. The research found that youth are three times more likely to attend A&E compared to people over age 64. Joblessness increased A&E use by 38%, and poor housing conditions increased use by 34%.

UK - Antimicrobial resistance: UK launches 5-year action plan and 20-year vision

The British government has published a 20-year vision and 5-year action plan for containing and controlling antimicrobial resistance in health, animals, the environment and the food chain by 2040. A major objective of the plan is to ensure that current antibiotics stay effective by reducing resistant infections and supporting appropriate prescribing by clinicians.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Workshop on Personalized Medicine

The research group CIRANO, and the Industrielle Alliance Research Chair in economic challenges associated with changing demographics, are holding this workshop on March 14 and 15, 2019, in Montreal. It will explore legal and economic aspects of personalized medicine, with speakers from North America and overseas. Registration is free of charge, but mandatory.

Canada - KT Canada Scientific Meeting 2019

Knowledge Translation Canada is a network of Canadian experts in knowledge translation. The annual meeting will take place May 30 and 31, 2019, in Winnipeg on the theme 'Advancing the science of integrated knowledge translation'.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Hallway Health Care: A System Under Strain - First Interim Report from the Premier’s Council on Improving Healthcare and Ending Hallway Medicine

Crowded hospitals and 'hallway healthcare' remain a significant problem in Ontario. This report by an advisory council to Premier Doug Ford describes challenges that contribute to hallway healthcare and identifies potential remedies, including technological solutions and greater healthcare integration. The report says Ontario does not have the appropriate mix of services, beds, or digital tools to face projected increases in complex care needs and capacity pressures.

Canada - Fostering Evidence-informed Policy Making: Uncertainty Versus Ambiguity

Policy studies often distinguish between uncertainty, lack of knowledge about a problem, and ambiguity, which represents the varying interpretations of a problem. This article says that policymakers should view reducing uncertainty as a technical process to supply appropriate evidence, while reducing ambiguity is a political exercise using power to define policy problems and demand evidence. Public health actors should consider the implications of this distinction.

China - Organizational issues for the lean success in China: exploring a change strategy for lean success

Developed by Japan's automotive sector, Lean is a process reengineering philosophy often applied in healthcare. Reviewing 212 Lean implementation studies conducted in China, this paper explores strategies for Lean success in Chinese hospitals. It finds that hospitals in China appear to lack a full understanding of Lean and that four factors are critical for results: leadership, adequate technology, stakeholder involvement and individual and organizational benefits.

Europe - Provision of a market study on telemedicine

Commissioned by the European Union (EU), this study examines Europe's telemedicine market and the factors determining its development. The analysis maps telemedicine applications and technical guidelines, and describes market dynamics and potential barriers limiting wider deployment and uptake. A comprehensive assessment of the cost effectiveness of larger-scale deployment in current and future market conditions is undertaken to provide policymakers with in-depth advice.

Switzerland - Communication, continuity and coordination of care are the most important patients' values for family medicine in a fee-for-services health system

More than 60% of medical consultations in Switzerland are conducted at the primary care level. In this study, researchers surveyed 200 primary care users to explore what Swiss patients value most with regards to family medicine. They then look at associations between these findings and socio-demographic factors. Surveyed patients identified issues related to person-centred communication and the coordination and continuity of care as most important.

UK - Rural health care. A rapid review of the impact of rurality on the costs of delivering health care

This report examines policy considerations surrounding the extra cost of providing health care in Britain's rural areas. It reviews evidence on the expense of delivering rural health care and quantifies current National Health Service (NHS) rural allocation formulae in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The report finds that England spends less than the rest of the UK on adjustments for rural healthcare provision.

UK - Incorporating Concerns for Equity into Health Resource Allocation. A Guide for Practitioners

This paper provides an overview of analytic tools used to evaluate and promote health equity, summarizing methods to incorporate equity concerns into health resource allocation. Benefit incidence analysis is used to estimate the distribution of health sector expenditures, with geographical resource allocation providing a main policy lever for improving equity. Inequality metrics such as gap measures and concentration indices are useful in evaluating equity changes.

UK - Universal personalised care: implementing the comprehensive model

This National Health Service (NHS) document sets out a long-term plan for implementing comprehensive personalized care in the NHS. The plan contains 21 actions and six evidence-based and cost-effective components intended to improve health and wellbeing outcomes and quality of care. Implementation will be guided by delivery partnerships between the NHS and local governments with the participation of the voluntary and community sectors.

International - Interventions to develop collectivistic leadership in healthcare settings: a systematic review

Shared leadership has been associated with team performance outcomes in several sectors. This systematic review synthesizes findings from 21 interventions to introduce collective leadership in healthcare settings. The interventions used a variety of approaches, ranging from team training to co-leadership and service improvement. Most demonstrated moderate to good success in enabling collective leadership, with benefits reported in staff engagement, satisfaction, and team performance.