Australia - One in every eight Australians sees a GP at least 12 times a year This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This government report provides a picture of use of general practitioner (GP) services in Australia. It shows that one in eight Australians (12.5%) saw a GP at least 12 times in 2012–13. Among very high GP users (over 20 visits), 67% were aged 60 or older. Australians visit a GP five times per year on average.

Canada - Action underway to improve rural health care in Alberta This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Alberta’s Rural Health Services Review Committee has delivered a report of its recommendations to improve rural health care. Two actions are already underway: the development of an emergency medical service (EMS) delivery model, and the establishment of 10 Alberta Health Services (AHS) operational districts to give rural communities a voice in decision-making.

Canada - Ontario Investing $44 Million in Home and Community Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in Ontario is increasing funding to programs that can help seniors who have experienced a loss of strength or mobility, often associated with a hospitalization, recover from illness or injury so they can continue to live more independently. Among the programs that will receive additional funding are short-stay rehabilitation programs, community supports and comprehensive risk assessment programs in the community.

Europe - New procurement model can increase the impact of health and social care services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A new procurement model to increase the impact of health and social care services has been developed in Scandinavia. Tested in Finland’s health system, the VABPRO Nordic value-based model helps public providers improve outcomes by reconfiguring services around user needs. Value and outcome are recent concepts in Scandinavian care systems that previously focused on resources, production and output.

Switzerland - Health2020: Ten priorities for 2015 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Switzerland’s Health2020 strategy calls for the implementation of 36 health measures by 2020. The 10 measures to be developed in 2015 have now been announced by the Swiss government and include legislation on tobacco products and patients’ rights, and the promotion of cost-effective quality care.

UK - New GP return to practice scheme launched nationally today This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A program to get doctors into general practice has been launched in the UK. It will provide an opportunity for doctors to return to general practice from a different specialization, or following a career break or work abroad. The program also supports accepting general practitioners (GPs) with qualifications from outside Britain.

Upcoming Events

Canada - From definitions to action: meeting the needs of health care's highest users
This one-day forum organized by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) takes place May 25, 2015, in Montreal, prior to the CAHSPR conference. Distinguished speakers and experts will lead sessions on the practical implications of using different approaches to define high users and on examples of using data to inform intervention strategies.

Canada - McMaster Health Forum five-day workshop on finding and using research evidence
The summer workshop takes place from June 15 to 19, 2015, in Hamilton. This in-person training workshop complements the McMaster Forum's online course. The program is intended for decision-makers, stakeholders and researchers. The deadline to register is May 31, 2015.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Patient engagement: Why does it matter and how is it done? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the McGill University Health Centre's Institute for Strategic Analysis and Innovation (MUHC-ISAI) and the Health Innovation Forum, this eighth issue of Health innovation Report is completely devoted to the patient as partner. It includes papers on patient experience, patient engagement in system transformation, medical education, health system design and disease self-management, as well as a look at care coordination from the patient's perspective. Three in-depth case studies look at patient partnership initiatives underway at the MUHC.

Europe - One place, one budget? Approaches to pooling resources for public service transformation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
One approach to breaking down government silos has been to pool budgets to curtail inefficient multiple funding streams. This RAND Corporation report examines the experiences of nine European local government initiatives to pool budgets for services such as health and social care, vocational training, and public asset management.

Europe - Reducing inequalities in health and health care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This special issue of EuroHealth features 10 articles on the dimensions of health and care inequalities in Europe. Articles discuss the challenge of reducing inequalities in the prevention of infectious disease and the regulation of health behaviour. Initiatives addressing specific populations at risk, such as Europe’s Roma peoples, are described.

France - Should France take part in medical tourism? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The global market for medical tourism is estimated at around $60 billion. Many countries have chosen to invest in medical tourism, with some highlighting their low-cost care and others their care quality. This analysis published by France Stratégie asserts that France should develop a framework to welcome foreign patients for treatment, and promote the expansion of its system and the marketing of its capabilities to foreign countries.

UK - Are people waiting longer for health care? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by a British charity, this report considers the performance of the UK National Health Service (NHS) in providing timely access to health care over the past five years. After analyzing data across key services (emergency, cancer, and secondary and primary care), the report finds that wait times for cancer treatments have increased. Overall, waits remain shorter than they were 10 years ago.

UK - The NHS under the coalition government. Part two: NHS performance This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ruling together since 2010, Britain’s coalition government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats faces an election in May 2015. This paper, the second in a series, looks at the National Health Service’s (NHS) performance under the coalition government. It concludes that NHS performance has slipped since 2008, with sizeable increases in waiting times and an unprecedented number of hospitals reporting deficits.

International - Best practice. Medical training from an international perspective This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Conducted by German researchers, this study compares approaches adopted in Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands to address shortages of primary care physicians through the reform of medical education and training systems. The study highlights options for medical education and training in Germany while acknowledging ongoing reform activity.