OISSS is an international observatory on health and social services whose mission is to share information on knowledge development, organization methods, and performance of health and social services systems around the world. It also helps align research with public policymaking.

OISSS is part of Québec’s Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.


OISSS studies the health and social services systems of partner countries, provinces, and regions, tracking their development and monitoring changes and trends. It also shares the latest research and information on topics of interest in the news.

It offers opportunities for discussion and debate about current issues of concern to health system administrators.

Its goal is to develop a network of international experts sharing knowledge and experience acquired in each country in order to:

  • Spark collaboration between ministries, secretariats, and other bodies responsible for organizing services, as well as advisory organizations and academic institutions
  • Foster partnerships and increase networking between participants and international organizations

Positioned as it is at the intersection of Europe and the Americas, Québec plays a vital role connecting these various stakeholders.

Suggested reading

The suggested reading list was created by the OISSS monitoring team. You will find recent publications on organization methods and best practices in the fields of health and social services.

United Kingdom – What can the NHS learn from learning health systems? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Drawing on evidence and experience from the U.K. and internationally, this briefing identifies opportunities for local organizations and systems to make better use of health data, and recommends ways that national policy could promote the collaboration and greater use of analytics which underpin the “learning health system” concept. Learning health systems continuously analyze data collected as part of routine care to monitor outcomes, identify improvements, and implement changes.

United Kingdom – Improving access out of hours: Evaluation of extended-hours primary care access hubs This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2014, two schemes were set up in outer east London to improve access to primary care by providing additional capacity outside of core hours and develop a new integrated healthcare hub for people with complex care needs. This report examines both schemes and evaluates their impact on patients and carers, staff, and the wider health system. The findings show that there were fewer emergency room visits in the areas where an integrated care hub was opened.

United States – Supporting Rural Health: Practical Solutions for State Policymakers This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Rural health has long been an area of concern for policymakers, with perennial challenges such as quality of care and workforce development. This issue brief published by the Milbank Memorial Fund reports on meetings held in 2018 between state health policy leaders and national experts to discuss these concerns and find practical solutions. The report stresses the importance of health care delivery models that promote and incentivize investment in community health and includes case studies highlighting successful models.

International - Health Spending Projections to 2030 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
To gain a better understanding of the financial sustainability of health systems, the OECD has produced a new set of health spending projections up to 2030 for all 36 member countries. This document explains the projections, puts them in context, and considers their policy implications. On average across the OECD, health spending is expected to reach 10.2% of GDP by 2030, up from 8.8% in 2015.

International – Health Spending Projections to 2030 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In many parts of the world, primary health care remains fragmented and weak. Even in Europe, 26% of patients suffering from chronic conditions spend 12 months without being seen by a doctor. This policy brief published by the OECD describes the strategies and resources needed to strengthen primary health care, including changing the organizational and financing models and how doctors are trained.

Europe – Opinion on Defining value in “value-based healthcare” This hyperlink will open in a new window.
“Value-based healthcare” is often discussed as an idea to improve resource allocation, but there is no single agreed-upon definition of the concept. This report from the EU’s Expert Panel on effective ways of investing in Health (EXPH) provides a definition based on four value-pillars: personal value, technical value, allocative value, and societal value.

Europe – Opinion on Task shifting and health system design This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This opinion from a group of EU experts addresses the current division of labor in the healthcare sector. The experts studied whether task shifting could improve the system’s resilience and efficacy. They analyzed factors, catalysts, and obstacles to task shifting and concluded that health systems must embrace flexibility in professional roles to maximize future health gains.

Canada – An Evaluation of the Accelerated Integrated Primary and Community Care Initiatives This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2012, the British Columbia Ministry of Health introduced 20 integrated primary and community care initiatives across the province to improve connections between the two types of care. This study assessed the outcomes of each initiative, focusing on hospital costs, number of acute hospitalizations, and number of emergency department visits. It noted that the initiatives did not decrease utilization of hospitals, emergency departments, or physicians.

Belgium – Performance du système de santé belge – Rapport 2019 This hyperlink will open in a new window. (in French only)
Performance of the Belgian Health System – Report 2019, in French - This report uses 121 indicators to analyze five aspects of health care in Belgium: accessibility, quality, efficacy, sustainability, and equity. The report includes sections on preventive care, hospital care, long-term care, and community-based care and notes improvements in all areas with the exception of mental health services, where access remains a nationwide concern. Belgium is currently experiencing a shortage of general practitioners.

International – Decentralisation and performance measurement systems in healthcare This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report looks at decentralization and performance measurement systems in healthcare in the 34 OECD member countries. Decision-making in health care tends to rest largely with the central government, while sub-national governments have more control over the inputs, outputs, and monitoring of services. Most OECD countries tend to rely on centralized performance measurement systems, focusing more on improving performance than reducing service costs.

Useful links



International and other organizations