Headlines

Canada - Wait times remain stable, while number of procedures grows This hyperlink will open in a new window.
While the number of priority procedures performed in Canada has increased, wait times for these procedures—radiation therapy, joint replacement, hip fracture repair and cataract surgery—have remained stable. In fact, about 8 out of 10 patients have consistently had their priority surgery performed within the approved benchmark time frame every year since 2010. This information is included in Wait Times for Priority Procedures in Canada, 2015, released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI).

Canada - Ontario ranks among the best in Canada and internationally when it comes to certain measures of the coordination of care and communication between older patients and their health care providers This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ontario patients aged 55 and older often experience top-rated coordination of their health care, as well as communication with their health care providers, compared to people in other provinces and in other countries, according to Experiencing Integrated Care, the latest report from Health Quality Ontario (HQO), the provincial advisor on health care quality.

Sweden - System of Health Accounts (SHA): Households account for 15 percent of health and medical care costs Statistics Sweden has released This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Statistics Sweden has released data showing that 85% of Sweden’s health and medical care in 2013 was financed by government, while 15% was paid by individuals through direct fees. Health and medical care comprised 11% of Sweden’s 2013 GDP of $600 billion Cdn. Over half of the sector’s costs related to curative and rehabilitative care.

UK - All new healthcare assistants and social care support workers will need to get a Care Certificate in their first 12 weeks of employment This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In the wake of recent scandals surrounding poor patient care, the UK government has announced that novice healthcare assistants and social care support workers must qualify for a new Care Certificate. The 15 Care Certificate standards assess the skills needed to give effective and compassionate care, and act as a quality benchmark for provider organizations.

Ireland - Emergency Department Task Force Report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Released in April 2015, this report contains the Action Plan of Ireland’s Emergency Department Taskforce, commissioned in 2013 to find solutions to emergency department overcrowding. The new Action Plan sets out a range of actions to optimize hospital and community capacity, develop internal capabilities and process improvements, and expand leadership, planning, and oversight.

Upcoming Events

Australia - 9th Health Services and Policy Research Conference
The biennial conference of the Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand takes place in Melbourne from December 7 to 9, 2015. The conference theme this year is “From data to delivery: Connecting research, policy and practice for better health outcomes.” It brings together a variety of disciplines, including medicine, health policy, health economics, public health, health promotion, epidemiology, informatics and sociology.

Canada - Personality Disorders Across the Lifespan
The International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders is holding its 14th annual conference in Montreal from October 13 to 16, 2015. It is designed to explore research and clinical applications for the treatment of personality disorders across developmental periods. Organizers are accepting proposals for symposia and oral and poster presentations. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Community participation in health service reform: the development of an innovative remote Aboriginal primary health-care service This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted in the remote Kimberley region of Australia, this study examines a partnership between a community health organization and an acute care hospital to deliver primary health care to the local Aboriginal population. The study finds that clear goals and responsibilities helped transform the region’s hospital-based provider into a prevention-focused primary care service.

Canada - The Montreal model: the challenges of a partnership relationship between patients and healthcare professionals This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Montreal model is a patient engagement strategy that partners the complementary knowledge bases of patients and healthcare professionals in the organization of care. This article by the model’s originators at the Université de Montréal describes its theoretical basis and implementation at clinical, organizational, and systemic levels. Facilitators and barriers are described.

Canada - Understanding Health and Social Services for Seniors in Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
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.

China - Lessons from the East — China's Rapidly Evolving Health Care System This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the New England Journal of Medicine, this overview article traces the history of China’s healthcare system since the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1948. It describes the mass mobilization of ‘barefoot doctor’ village health workers in the 1950s; the dramatic free-market health reforms of the 1980s; and the country’s more recent focus on rural healthcare, health insurance, and medical professionalism.

Canada - Should Canada's Hospitals Open Their Doors to Medical Tourists? Health Care in Canada: An Economic Growth Engine This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This Conference Board briefing describes the current state of medical tourism in Canada and internationally and looks at potential advantages and risks for Canada's hospitals and healthcare system. It also presents thoughts on ways to ensure that it would make a positive contribution were it developed further.

UK - Insights from the clinical assurance of service reconfiguration in the NHS: the drivers of reconfiguration and the evidence that underpins it – a mixed-methods study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Reviewing government documents and the published literature, this research examines recent proposals by policymakers to reconfigure hospital services in the UK National Health Service (NHS). The research finds that most reconfiguration proposals emphasize the concentration of services and identifies the primary drivers in the process as workforce consolidation and financial constraints.

UK - What are we afraid of? Universal healthcare in market-oriented health systems This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This paper argues that Britain’s universal health coverage and National Health Service (NHS) should be abandoned and replaced by the social health insurance (SHI) systems used in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany. The paper says SHI systems are more competitive and patient-driven, show greater plurality in provision and financing, and consistently outperform on measures of health outcomes, quality, and efficiency.

The Netherlands - The Buurtzorg Nederland (home care provider) model Observations for the United Kingdom (UK) This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Founded in the Netherlands in 2006, Buurtzorg is a home care system that has garnered international acclaim for being entirely nurse-led and cost effective. This British article considers the successes of the Buurtzorg program while identifying challenges it has encountered and highlighting differences in context that would need to be addressed if the UK were to adopt a similar system.

International - Tapering payments in hospitals : Experiences in OECD countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by the OECD, this study examines mechanisms that link unit prices to the volume of services produced. The study provides an overview of hospital payment methods in the 34 OECD countries and reviews studies on economies of scale in hospitals, which is the rationale behind tapering payments.