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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

Canada - Federal Minister of Health tables the 2017 Annual Report of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board

The Federal Minister of Health has tabled the 2017 Annual Report of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) with Parliament. It sets out detailed information on the PMPRB’s regulatory activities; patentees' compliance with pricing guidelines; and the sales and price trends of patented medicines sold in Canada.

UK - More than 1,600 extra trauma victims alive today says major new study

Research has found that the National Health Service (NHS) in England has saved an additional 1,600 patients with severe injuries since the establishment of major trauma centres in 2012. Seriously injured patients are now sent directly to designated trauma centres, bypassing smaller local hospitals that offer less specialized care.

UK - Expansion of electronic prescribing at GPs and pharmacies

Regulations limiting the circumstances in which electronic prescriptions are issued will be changed in the UK later this year to accommodate patients and general practitioners (GPs), and decrease National Health Service (NHS) expenses. More than 6,000 British GPs, 63% of the country’s GP workforce, currently send prescriptions electronically to pharmacists.  

USA - Hospital Rating Tools Should Allow Patients to Customize Rankings to Meet Their Individual Needs

A RAND Corporation analysis appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) argues that hospital rating and ranking tools should be modified to include quality measures that reflect individual needs. Modelling shows that hospital quality reports tailored to the ‘average’ patient are not a good fit for most people under care.

International - Launch of new global estimates on levels of physical activity in adults

New data published in The Lancet Global Health show that more than one in four adults globally (28% or 1.4 billion people) are physically inactive. However this can be as high as one in three adults inactive in some counties.

Upcoming Events

UK - Current and future directions in health equity research and action

The HERON network, funded by the Wellcome Trust, supports a variety of research and community-driven initiatives to better understand and reduce health inequalities. HERON’s second conference will take place on 31 October 2018, in London. Parallel sessions will address topics such as community voices, multi-morbidity, tensions between research and advocacy, and more.

Canada – Value in Canadian Healthcare

The Centre for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR) is holding its annual health policy conference in Vancouver, on March 7 and 8, 2019. Speakers will share their latest thinking and experiences on increasing value in healthcare, drawing from emerging research and recent health system reforms. The conference will facilitate conversations between stakeholders on how provinces can adopt the principles and actions that define increasing value from spending on healthcare.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Italy - Real and predicted mortality under health spending constraints in Italy: a time trend analysis through artificial neural networks

This retrospective study employed computerized neural networks to analyze mortality trends and health spending in Italy over the past 20 years and investigate correlations with funding constraints experienced by the national health system since the economic crisis of 2008. The study found that overall mortality was higher than the predicted trend, a scenario that may be partially attributable to the healthcare funding constraints put in place.

Norway - A Scoping Review of Facilitators of Multi-Professional Collaboration in Primary Care

Multi-professional collaboration (MPC) is essential for the delivery of effective and comprehensive care services. This Norwegian scoping review of 19 studies reports on the organizational, relational and contextual facilitators of collaboration between general practitioners (GPs) and other primary care professionals. It finds that advancements in work practices benefit from an initial system-level foundation with a focus on local management and MPC leadership.

Spain - Spain. Health system review

This review of Spain’s health system finds that public healthcare spending (71% of total health spending) is once again on the rise, further strengthening the primary care sector. While structural measures are needed to improve resource allocation, technical efficiencies, and the provision of patient-centred care, life expectancy in Spain continues to be the highest in the European Union (EU).

UK - Self-management capability in patients with long-term conditions is associated with reduced healthcare utilisation across a whole health economy: cross-sectional analysis of electronic health records

Analyzing 12,270 electronic health records, this study quantified the association between self-management capability in patients with long-term conditions, and healthcare utilization across the UK health sector. It found that higher levels of patient self-management capability are associated with lower utilization of general practitioners (GPs), emergency rooms (ERs) and hospitals, as well as a less wasteful use of resources across primary and secondary care.

International - An international comparison of long-term care funding and outcomes: insights for the social care green paper

In 2017, Age UK commissioned a comparative analysis exploring long-term care service structures, funding mechanisms, and outcomes in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Japan to see what lessons could be learned and applied in the UK. Analysis showed that the UK had the largest private sector involvement, lowest public funding, strictest means testing and poorest outcomes of all the long-term care models studied.

International - Crossing the Global Quality Chasm: Improving Health Care Worldwide

Internationally, between 5.7 and 8.4 million deaths occur each year because of poor quality healthcare (10% to 15% of annual global mortality). This study by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines the global impacts of poor quality healthcare and recommends ways to improve quality while expanding universal health coverage (UHC), particularly in underdeveloped low-income countries with limited healthcare structures and resources.

International - The macroeconomic implications of healthcare

Outside their crucial role supporting human health, publicly funded healthcare systems also have major macroeconomic implications, including feedback effects on public revenues, expenditures, labour markets and private investment. This paper by Dutch researchers argues that a proper consideration of the macro implications of publicly funded healthcare systems should be an important aspect of health spending decisions, and efficiency and quality strategies.

International - The promise and peril of universal health care

Summarizing international and national efforts to promote and implement universal health coverage (UHC), this article offers a comprehensive review of approaches to UHC and discusses the many differing national contexts, challenges and barriers affecting its implementation and organization around the world. The financial cost of massively expanding access to healthcare continues to be the most formidable barrier to achieving UHC.