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Preventive care and healthy ageing: a global perspective

Brief analytical summaries or syntheses #51 Preventive care and healthy ageing a global perspective Summary Published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this report investigates the challenges and pressures that ageing populations put on healthcare systems and economies worldwide. It includes case studies of eight countries Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US. Background The world is ageing rapidly, and this is good news. It means that people are living longer and recovering more frequently from acute diseases. But it also poses a grave challenge a world that is barely able to meet the healthcare needs of its existing population is having to take on the costlier healthcare needs of hundreds of millions of older people. Government policymakers will have to find new ways to promote healthy ageing—and will have to find them soon. Analysis and results Preventive care measures are often focused on particular diseases…

International - Global Strategy and Action Plan on Ageing and Health: consultation

Posted online, this initial draft of the WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan on Aging and Health is now open to input from individuals and institutions that will be incorporated into the next draft, to be discussed in Geneva, Switzerland on October 29 and 30, 2015. The draft zero proposes the following 5 strategic objectives: 1. Committing to foster healthy ageing in every country, 2. Aligning health systems to the needs of older populations, 3. Developing long-term care systems, 4. Creating age-friendly environments, and 5. Improving measuring, monitoring and understanding.

International – World report on ageing and health

With advances in medicine helping more people to live longer lives, the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to double by 2050 and will require radical societal change, according to a new report released by the World Health Organization. The Report highlights 3 key areas for action which will require a fundamental shift in the way society thinks about ageing and older people.

Belgium - Belgium: Enhancing the Cost Efficiency and Flexibility of the Health Sector to Adjust to Population Ageing

Belgium has a good record in delivering accessible care, but adaptation to population ageing will be complicated by the fragmentation of responsibilities in the healthcare system and a strong reliance on government regulations. According to this paper published by the OECD, the organisation of the system could be rationalised by giving sickness funds a more active role as promoters of cost-efficiency, better aligning the incentives of the different levels of government and focussing on medium-term budgeting.

UK - Making our health and care systems fit for an ageing population

Improving health and social care for the elderly requires consideration of many components of care. This UK paper presents evidence and guidance on the key components of high-quality care for older people, including the use of timely comprehensive geriatric assessments and the provision of accessible and coordinated primary, community and social care services.

UK - Public health responses to an ageing society: opportunities and challenges

This British article outlines the opportunities and challenges faced by England’s aging society and public health structures. It provides examples of both good practice and potential pitfalls, and stresses eight local public health policies to reduce costs and improve older peoples’ health. The policies concern smoking, exercise, nutrition, road safety, housing, loneliness, immunization and falls.

Ireland - Towards the Development of a Predictive Model of Long-Term Care Demand For Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

This report from the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) analyzes long-term care utilization in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic in order to form a predictive model of mutual demand. The two jurisdictions have distinct healthcare systems and differing demographic profiles.

Korea - Health-Care Reform in Korea

Korea’s health-care system has contributed to the marked improvement in health conditions, while limiting spending to one of the lowest levels in the OECD through high patient co-payments and limited coverage of public health insurance. However, spending is now increasing at the fastest rate in the OECD. With continued upward pressure, not least from rapid population ageing, it is essential to boost efficiency by reforming the payment system, reducing drug expenditures, shifting long-term care out of hospitals, promoting healthy ageing and introducing gatekeepers according to this paper by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

International - Preventive care and healthy ageing: a global perspective

Published by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this report investigates the challenges and pressures that ageing populations put on healthcare systems and economies worldwide. Case studies of eight countries (Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa, the UK and the US) are included.

Canada - Canadians want a national strategy on seniors care: report

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) 2014 Health Report Card has found overwhelming support for the development of a national strategy to address the needs of Canada's rapidly aging population. The CMA survey found that 95% of respondents supported a national strategy to expand seniors' health care. The survey also showed that 61% of respondents lacked confidence in Canada's current ability to manage the needs of the elderly.

France - Marisol Touraine and Laurence Rossignol present the principles behind a new law geared to help society adapt to an aging population

The Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women's Rights, and the Secretary for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens and Autonomy in France presented the principles and components of a bill aimed at strengthening protection for vulnerable citizens. It provides for the introduction of an additional solidarity contribution for the maintenance of autonomy. The three main aims of the law are anticipation to prevent the loss of autonomy; adaptation of public policies on housing, urban planning and transport; and support to improve home care for people with reduced autonomy.

International - International Survey Of Older Adults Finds Shortcomings In Access, Coordination, And Patient-Centered Care

The journal Health Affairs conducted a survey of the healthcare experiences of 15,617 older adults in 11 Western countries, including Canada. This report presents the survey findings, which show that the US lags behind in care access, quality, and affordability. Accessing primary care and avoiding the emergency department was more difficult in Canada than in other countries.

Japan - Redesigning how health services are delivered in Japan would better meet the needs of a super-ageing population, says OECD

This health care quality review by the OECD says Japan must improve the way it delivers health services for older citizens by strengthening primary care and making mental health services more widely available. The review also recommends expanding nursing home spaces and reducing hospital bed capacity.

Belgium - Support for Informal Caregivers - An Exploratory Analysis

The Centre Fédéral d’Expertise des Soins de Santé (KCE) has examined aid that governments currently provide to informal caregivers in Belgium. There is very little financial compensation, a lack of harmonization and imperfect access to respite services. KCE considers that before reviewing support measures, a broad societal debate should be held on the role of caregivers in the care system and careful consideration should be given to the types of assistance that would be most appropriate to their specific situation without worsening inequalities.

Japan - Implementation process and challenges for the community-based integrated care system in Japan

Published by the Japanese National Institute of Health, this article presents an overview of Japan’s community-based integrated care system. Along with health care for all age groups, the system provides daily support services and residential care for the elderly.

International - 2nd International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities: Videos of Plenary Sessions now available online

The Conference brought together 700 elected officials, municipal administrators, professionals, practionners, researchers, decision makers and elders from 46 different countries to share their knowledge and experiences on age-friendly cities and communities.

Canada - CMA hitting the road to sound out Canadians on end-of-life issues

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will be travelling across the country in the next three months to find out what Canadians think about end-of-life issues, and particularly physician-assisted dying, palliative care and advance care planning. Four public assemblies will take place in Vancouver, Whitehorse, Regina and Mississauga.

Canada - Harper Government committed to increasing palliative care training across the country

The federal Minister of Health committed to increasing funding to the Pallium Foundation of Canada for an initiative called Building the Future of Palliative Care Together, which aims to equip more front-line healthcare providers with the skills and knowledge they need to care for people with life-threatening conditions.

Sweden - OECD’s Health Care Quality Review of Sweden

Sweden’s health and elderly care systems deserve their reputation as being among the best in the world. Yet an ageing population with growing chronic conditions and requiring more complex health services are testing Sweden’s ability to continue delivering high-quality care, according to a new OECD report.

The Netherlands - Multimorbidity of chronic diseases and health care utilization in general practice

Multimorbidity is common among ageing populations and affects demand for health services. After examining the relationship between multimorbidity and the use of general practice services by people over age 55, this Dutch study found that having a higher number of chronic diseases was associated with more physician contact, prescriptions and referrals to specialized care.

Canada - Canadians ready to talk about death and dying

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) held a number of town hall meetings across Canada to find out what people had to say about death and dying. The CMA recommends, based on what it heard, that all Canadians have access to palliative care services and that people communicate more about their end-of-life wishes.

Ireland - Government launches Irish National Dementia Strategy

The Irish government has launched a national dementia strategy to increase awareness and develop enhanced community-based services to ensure timely diagnosis and intervention for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. There are approximately 50,000 people with dementia in Ireland, a number projected to rise to over 140,000 by 2040 as the population ages.

Canada - Canada’s Aging Population and Implications for Government Finances

Canada’s aging population will put significant stress on government spending programs, which will result in large deficits and mounting debt in the future, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute. The study finds that from 2010 to 2063, the share of the Canadian population over the age of 65 will increase from just under 15 per cent to more than 25 per cent, which will necessitate increased government spending.

Australia - New report outlines residential aged care funding reform options

This report into aged care funding highlights options to modify Australia’s residential care sector. The report reviews funding mechanisms and focuses on ways to improve delivery, including incorporating external assessments of funding needs. Australia spent a record $18.6 billion on aged care in 2016.

UK - Remote health management: reducing bed blocking in the NHS

The NHS’s capacity is stretched. This pressure is partly due to the rise in frail and ageing patients who cannot be discharged from acute hospitals. These delayed transfers, known as ‘bed blocking,’ cost the NHS £820m in 2015 ($1.35 billion Cdn). This paper describes how remote health management (RHM) systems, such as telehealth and telecare, can ease the pressures of bed blocking and support the care of patients in settings other than hospitals.

France: improving the efficiency of the health-care system

France’s health-care system offers high-quality care according to a new report from the OECD. Average health outcomes are good, public satisfaction with the health-care system is high, and average household out-of-pocket expenditures are low. As in other OECD countries, technology is expanding possibilities for life extension and quality, and spending is rising steadily, while an ageing population requires substantially more and different services. The main challenges are to promote prevention and cost-efficient behaviour by care providers, tackle the high spending on pharmaceuticals, strengthen the role of health insurers as purchasing agents and secure cost containment.

Australia - Practical innovation: Closing the social infrastructure gap in health and ageing

This report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) argues that Australia needs a health system model focused on wellbeing as much as illness and a more integrated, preventive and outcomes-focused approach to health care. The report identifies approaches to transform the current health system, improve integration, and implement a facility to fund and support new healthcare partnerships and collaborations.

France – Agnès Buzyn presents a roadmap to meet the short- and medium-term challenges of an aging population

In France, the number of people over 85 will increase from 1.5 million today to 4.8 million in 2050. The Minister of Solidarity and Health has announced a strategy to prevent loss of autonomy; it includes reformulating home care funding, rolling out a comprehensive caregiver support plan and meeting the growing need for medical care. As well, the plan includes funding for 1000 additional temporary beds for people leaving hospital.

Canada - Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging releases first report on health and aging in Canada

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) has released preliminary analysis of data collected from 50,000 Canadians aged 45 to 85. It shows that women are most likely to experience social isolation, but that 95% of older Canadians rate their mental health as very good. Over 44% of respondents provide some level of care to others.

Canada - Taking seniors off antipsychotics shows dramatic improvement in care

A Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI) initiative to reduce antipsychotic use by seniors in long-term care (LTC) has shown dramatic results — far fewer falls, less aggression, and improved quality of life. Contrary to expectations, inappropriate behaviours decreased by over 50% in the sample of 416 LTC residents whose antipsychotic use was discontinued.

France - What role does population aging play in increasing healthcare costs?

This article, published in the French journal Medicine/Science, provides an overview of the economic literature that has sought to isolate and quantify the respective effects of aging and non-demographic determinants on the dynamics of health spending. The authors conclude that changes in morbidity have so far had favourable impacts on healthcare budgets; they state that it is the pattern of aging that will be of most importance to future health expenditures.

Australia - Positive Disruption: Healthcare, Ageing & Participation in the Age of Technology

According to this report, Australia is on the cusp of two disruptive transformations: rapid population aging and a technological revolution. In response, the report makes recommendations concerning targeted investments in healthcare technologies to rectify system inefficiencies and outmoded practices. The introduction of information system protocols to mandate interoperability across government is a key recommendation.

Canada - Understanding Health and Social Services for Seniors in Canada

This report by The Conference Board of Canada establishes a clear snapshot of current seniors health care programs and services that can inform the design of future programs, plans, and strategies to better address seniors’, and their families’, needs.

France – Launch of a consultation on a bill to help adapt French society to population aging

On November 29, 2013, the French Prime Minister launched a consultation on a bill to establish direction for adaptation of an aging society. The bill aims to establish individual and collective mechanisms to prevent loss of autonomy, and re-examine all policies relating to longer lifespans: transport policy, housing, of planning, among others. The ambition is to pass the law before the end of 2014.

Canada - Feds can afford $3.3 billion for health, including seniors, CMA says

A new report by the Conference Board of Canada demonstrates that the federal government can deliver meaningful support for seniors care, starting in the next budget cycle, Dr. Cindy Forbes, president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) said recently. Commissioned by the CMA, the Conference Board report provides the economic costing for three proposed federal policy measures to support seniors care, beginning in the 2016-17 federal budget cycle. The three federal policy measures would total a $3.3 billion federal investment to support seniors care – $1.6 billion toward a demographic-based top-up to the Canada Health Transfer, $1.6 billion for catastrophic coverage for prescription drugs, and $90.8 million to make the caregiving tax credits refundable.

France - Passage of a Bill on societal adapation to an aging population

This Bill was adopted on September 16 by the National Assembly in France. It recognizes the status of "natural caregiver" and institutes a right to respite. It also anticipates increasing the personalized autonomy benefit (Allocation Personnalisée d’Autonomie).

International - An Aging World: 2015

Prepared by the US Census Bureau, this report covers the demographic, health and economic aspects of global population aging. Investigating the dynamics of global population aging, the report discusses health, mortality, and health care, along with work, pensions, and other economic factors affecting older people. The report examines aging trends in 182 countries, with an emphasis on differences among world regions.

Lunch hour conferences 2016

By Michel Perreault, psychologist-researcher, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, associate professor, Psychiatry Department, Université McGill Hélène Provencher, professor, Nursing Faculty, Université Laval, researcher, Groupe de recherche sur l'Inclusion sociale, l'Organisation des services et l'Évaluation en santé mentale (GRIOSE-SM), CSSS de la Vieille-Capitale This conference will address the added value question of the intervention focusing on the contribution of peer helpers in care and services network, particularly in the area of mental health. The major findings from two research projects supported by the MSSS will be presented, one about the peer helpers intervention to facilitate access to clinical treatment for people with anxiety disorders with the support group Phobies-Zéro and the other one addressing the peer helpers integration in teams of support in the community for people with severe mental disorders proposed by the “Peer Helpers Network Program” associated with the Association québécoise pour la réadaptation psychosociale. Peer helpers accompany researchers…

Canada - Future Care for Canadian Seniors: A Status Quo Forecast

The Conference Board of Canada estimates, in this report, that spending on continuing care for seniors will increase from $29.3 billion in 2011 to $184.2 billion in 2046. Labour demand in the sector will far exceed supply and reliance on unpaid caregivers and volunteers will grow dramatically. The Conference Board considers that responding to these needs in an efficient and sustainable manner will require collaboration among the diverse mix of public and private stakeholders that make up the continuing care sector.

Canada - Managing the cost of healthcare for an aging population: 2014 provincial perspectives

Canada’s provinces face a common challenge in managing the rising cost of health care for aging populations. Published by the C.D. Howe Institute, this series of ten reports looks at population aging and its projected effects on government revenues and programs.

Canada - Seniors' care now a dominant Canadian concern: CMA survey

This survey conducted for the CMA’s 2013 report card found that 93% of respondents feel the country needs a pan-Canadian strategy for dealing with seniors’ health care issues in their homes and in hospitals, hospices and long-term-care facilities. The vast majority also felt that the federal government had a role to play.

Australia — Better Access to Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas

People living in rural and remote communities will benefit from an innovative program that is boosting health and medical services across the nation. $8.5 million has been allocated for 42 projects to make it easier for those living in rural and remote areas to see a doctor or allied health professional closer to home, the Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said.

Predicting social care costs. A feasibility study

Brief analytical summaries or syntheses #17 Predicting social care costs. A feasibility study Summary This study explores whether statistical models can be used to predict a person’s future need for intensive social care. Aside from the predictive models developed, this work points to the important potential of linked health and social-care data to support policy analysis and to guide the planning and delivery of services. Background The social care and healthcare costs of people with complex needs are set to rise steeply in the U.K. over the medium term, due to the ageing population and the growing number of people living with long-term medical conditions. It will become increasingly important to find ways of helping local councils and health services take earlier action to support people so they can remain independent and at home as long as possible. The ability to identify these people would be helpful so that they…

Europe — Remote patient monitoring and treatment can improve care provision

According to the study “Strategic Intelligence Monitor on Personal Health Systems (SIMPHS): Market Structure and Innovation Dynamics”, telemedicine can help make a difference in the face of an increasingly heavy burden of demand for service in the health sector. In an ageing Europe, where more and more citizens live with chronic diseases, it can prove very useful.

World Health Report 2010
Health systems financing: The path to universal coverage

Brief analytical summaries or syntheses #10 World Health Report 2010 Health systems financing The path to universal coverage Summary The 2010 World Health Report presents practical guidance on ways to finance health care. It describes different options for changing healthcare financing systems in order to move towards universal coverage and maintain gains that have been achieved to date. The report draws on evidence and lessons from a number of different countries. Background Promoting and protecting health is essential to human welfare and sustained economic and social development. This was recognized more than 30 years ago by the Alma-Ata Declaration signatories, who noted that Health for All would contribute both to a better quality of life and also to global peace and security. In this context, timely access to health services is critical. This cannot be achieved, except for a small minority of the population, without a well-functioning health financing system.…

Australia – Health Systems and Sustainability: Doctors and Consumers Differ on Threats and Solutions

Healthcare systems face the problem of insufficient resources to meet the needs of ageing populations and increasing demands for access to new treatments. Australian doctors and consumers hold different views on the sustainability of the healthcare system, and a number of key issues relating to costs, cost drivers, roles and responsibilities according to the authors of the study.

Australia - The plan charting the path for national health reform implementation has been released by Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon

Australia’s Health Reform Implementation Plan was launched September 7. The plan outlines milestones and standards to be met in achieving health reform in hospitals, GP and primary care, aged care, mental health, the workforce, prevention, and eHealth. Australia has committed $66.6 billion to support the reforms.

Australia - $475 Million More for Regional Health Facilities

On August 25, 2011, the Minister for Health and Ageing announced a next round of funding from the Gillard Government’s $5 billion Health and Hospitals Fund. The $475 million in funding will go towards projects such as new equipment or better buildings for local hospitals, new chronic disease management services and new or expanded mental and dental services. 148 projects are already in place from a previous round of funding. Projects with local community support are a priority. Applications close on October 19, 2011.

International — Spending for seniors to double or more by 2050, says OECD

Spending on long-term care in OECD countries is set to double, even triple, by 2050, driven by ageing populations. Governments need to make their long-term care policies more affordable and provide better support for family careers and professionals, according to a new OECD report. “Help Wanted? Providing and paying for long-term care” says that half of all people who need long-term care are over 80 years old. And the share of the population in this age group in OECD countries will reach nearly one in ten by 2050, up sharply from one in 25 in 2010. This percentage will reach 17% in Japan and 15% in Germany by 2050.

UK - The Future of Health

The authors of this paper intend to explore: 1. The impact of an ageing society on healthcare provision and demand over the next ten years; 2. How health provision could change in the future? 3. Given the changing landscape of health, how can we fund healthcare in the future?

International - Growing health spending puts pressure on government budgets, according to OECD Health Data 2010

In all OECD countries, total spending on healthcare is rising faster than economic growth, pushing the average ratio of health spending to GDP from 7.8% in 2000 to 9.0% in 2008. Factors raising health spending - technological change, population expectations and population ageing - will continue to drive cost higher in the future.

Australia - Council of Australian Governments’ Meeting - Conclusions

COAG agreed that national health reform would be a central priority for 2010. COAG discussed the current pressures on Australia’s healthcare system, and emerging pressures including population ageing, health workforce constraints and rising health costs driven by technology and the increasing burden of chronic disease. COAG agreed that long-term health reform was required to deliver better services for patients, more efficient and safer hospitals, more responsive primary healthcare and an increased focus on preventative health.

Australia: Review of Health Technology Assessment in Australia

A new report released recently by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon, and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner, recommends improvements to the way new health products, procedures and services are assessed for public funding, in line with international best practice.

Australia - Release of Roadmap to Reform

The timeline for the further delivery of better health and hospital services was recently released by the Minister for Health and Ageing. The Government’s implementation plan spells out the details as when initiatives such as extra sub-acute beds, more doctors and more nurses will be part of the health system. The plan is carefully structured to ensure that the planned improvements to the health system are delivered to provide better, more connected services for all hard working Australians. The implementation plan clearly shows what is already happening, and the delivery dates for other initiatives. The implementation plan is available online.

Help Wanted? Providing and paying for long-term care

Brief analytical summaries or syntheses #23 Help Wanted? Providing and paying for long-term care Summary Spending on long-term care in OECD countries is set to double, even triple, by 2050, driven by aging populations. Governments need to make their long-term care policies more affordable and provide better support for family carers and professionals, according to a new OECD report. “Help Wanted? Providing and paying for long-term care” reveals that half of all people who need long-term care are over 80 years old. And the share of the population in this age group in OECD countries will reach nearly one in 10 by 2050, up sharply from one in 25 in 2010. This percentage will reach 17% in Japan and 15% in Germany by 2050. Background With population aging, no clear signs of a reduction in disability among older people, family ties becoming looser and growing female labour-market participation, it is…

Australia - Long Term Care Insurance: A Survey of Providers’ Attitudes

Australia’s National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre conducted surveys and interviews to assess provider views on long-term care insurance that may involve private insurance markets. The authors found both demand and supply side barriers to the development of long-term care insurance in Australia with much depending on government laying the groundwork.

Canada - 15 M$ for palliative care in Quebec

On May 5, the Premier of Québec announced a $15 million investment in palliative care, of which $11 million would go to home-based palliative care. The other $4 million will be used to create new beds and open new palliative care hospices, or increase the number of beds in existing hospices.

Japan - Managing Pension and Healthcare Costs in Rapidly Ageing Depopulating Countries: The Case of Japan

The future demographic and economic situation of Japan will make the current, generous social security pensions hard to maintain. This study, published by Hermes-IR, explains changes in Japan’s social security pension programs, discusses future pension policy options in Japan and addresses healthcare issues.

Canada - Quebec proposes a seniors’ autonomy fund

An increasing number of Quebecers will suffer a loss of autonomy in the years to come. To adapt the health care system to the aging population, the Government of Quebec is proposing the creation of an autonomy insurance plan and underlines the need to build an autonomy fund to assure its operation. The proposal is outlined in a white paper made available by the Ministry of Health.

International - We must take better care of the elderly, say OECD and the European Commission

The number of people over 80 will double by 2050 rising from 3.9% of the population to 9.1% in 2050 across OECD countries and from 4.7% to 11.3% across 27 EU members. Estimates are that up to half of them will need help to cope with their daily needs. Yet even today governments are struggling to deliver high-quality care to elderly people with reduced physical and mental abilities, says a new OECD/EC report, A good life in old age?. Most countries have legislation to prevent abuse, including encouraging public disclosure of specific cases, complaint mechanisms and an ombudsman to deal with concerns. However very few countries systematically measure whether long-term care is safe, effective, and meets the needs of care recipients.

Canada – Quebec: Briefs submitted to inform the special consultation on the White Paper on creating an autonomy insurance program

A brief is a document in which a person or organization expresses their views on a matter under examination by a parliamentary review committee. Among the 19 papers now available on the website of the National Assembly on autonomy insurance are those of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec, the Commissaire à la santé et au bien être, the AQESSS and the Association des compagnies d'assurance de personnes.

Europe - European Vacancy Monitor highlights growing job opportunities in healthcare sector

The European Commission finds that employment in the EU healthcare sector has grown almost 2% annually between 2008 and 2012. This is attributed to the combined effects of an ageing population, advances in technology and treatments, people expecting higher quality service and greater emphasis on preventative care. In 2012 almost one million people were hired to work in health care.

Re-orienting health systems : Towards modern, responsive and sustainable health promoting systems

Brief analytical summaries or syntheses #55 Re-orienting health systems Towards modern, responsive and sustainable health promoting systems Summary This position paper from EuroHealthNet is the culmination of a policy dialogue process with stakeholders, experts and European Union (EU) institutions to identify key contributions to sustainable health systems across Europe. The paper frames its findings in the context of the EU 2020 Europe strategy for continental growth. Background The sustainability of national health systems is a core concern of the European Member States, the European Commission, and the World Health Organisation. As early as 2001, the European Commission identified ‘financial viability’ as one of three long-term objectives for national health systems, along with accessibility and quality. Since then, the development of high-quality, accessible and sustainable services has been in the spotlight of different EU policy agendas social protection, public health, and economic and financial affairs. Initially, the issue was incorporated in…

Australia - New Aged Care Places Offered as Reform Plan Moves Forward

More than 14,000 new aged care places will be offered across Australia in 2012 and 2013 as part of the government’s $3.7 billion aged care reform plan. Announced in April 2012, the reform plan aims to create a system that provides older Australians with more choice, control and access to services.

Responding to the challenge of financial sustainability in Estonia’s health system : one year on

Brief analytical summaries or syntheses #29 Responding to the challenge of financial sustainability in Estonia’s health system one year on Summary This WHO follow-up report looks at changes in Estonian health care financing one year after a comprehensive WHO analysis. It reviews developments in four areas where policy recommendations had been made. Background Health system financial sustainability has always been a central health policy issue, but the recent financial crisis has forced it to the top of the policy agenda the world over. With the aim of supporting a financially sustainable, high-performing health system, this report assesses health financing policy in Estonia. It looks at how well placed current financing policy is to enable goal attainment in the medium-to-long term (to 2030) and identifies ways to strengthen financing policy. The report is the result of a year-long process of stakeholder consultations and expert analysis initiated by the Ministry of Social…

Australie - eHealth Records Legislation Introduced

On November 23, 2011, the Minister for Health and Ageing introduced legislation regarding the introduction of Australia’s national eHeath records system. From July 1, 2012, Australians will be able to register for an eHealth record, though registration remains optional. Individuals will have control over their health information, including who can access their record and which documents can be viewed. Records can be connected to existing information from Medicare systems.

Australia - A new national watchdog for Australia’s health system will soon be formed after legislation to establish the National Health Performance Authority passed the Senate recently

Acting Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler welcomed the news and said the National Health Performance Authority is a key part of the Gillard Government’s commitment to provide patients with better information about the performance of public and private hospitals and Medicare Locals through tools like the MyHospitals website.

Spain - The search for low-cost integrated healthcare: the Alzira model – from the region of Valencia

European health care systems all face similar challenges: ageing populations, rising costs, and increasing demand. This report by the European Office of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) looks at the Alzira Model of Spain’s Valencia region, which has taken a pioneering approach to the provision of health care through public-private partnerships.

Canada - Economic and Fiscal Implications of Canada's Aging Population

The Canadian Department of Finance published this report to examine the impact of changing demographics on Canada’s employment rate and standard of living. Two main messages emerge: it is imperative that Canada redouble efforts to boost productivity growth, and to ensure that an increasing number of Canadians have the necessary skills and incentives to fully participate in the workforce.

UK - Fund to create and modernise homes for independent living

In October 2012, the UK Department of Health announced £300 million in funding for new and modernized homes meeting the needs of older people and people with disabilities. Local authorities will be able to bid for money to modernise existing housing and build specialized new homes.

Health care for 1.3 billion. An overview of China’s health system

Brief analytical summaries or syntheses #41 Health care for 1.3 billion. An overview of China’s health system Summary This Stanford University paper provides a brief overview of how China’s health system has transformed alongside society and economy since the 1960s. The paper describes how the Chinese system is financed, organized and regulated, and why it is currently being reformed. Background A half century ago, in the early Mao era, China’s population of half a billion people was young (36% aged less than 15), 80 percent rural, one-third illiterate, and living in absolute poverty. By 2010, China’s 6th population census — the largest social survey ever conducted — revealed a population of 1.3397 billion that was fundamentally different ageing (13.3% over age 60 and only 16.6% below age 15); half (49.7%) urban; 96% literate, with 23% attaining a high school or college education; and the second largest economy in the world,…