Canada - Access to Digital Health e-Services Helps Canadians Avoid Unnecessary Trips to Doctors and Delivers Significant Value to the Health Care System This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study by Canada Health Infoway considers that both Canadians and the health system benefit when patients access online personal health records and use digital health services. The study finds that digital health technology adoption saves Canada up to $150 million annually by avoiding the costs associated with trips to doctors' offices.

Europe - Toolkit to help European Region move towards sustainable health workforce now available online This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A toolkit designed to raise awareness that the health workforce is an essential investment in universal health coverage is now available online. Produced by the WHO in collaboration with European experts, the toolkit is framed around four strategic objectives: education and performance, planning and investment, capacity building, and analysis and monitoring.

France - Agnès Buzyn presents a roadmap for changing views of mental health and people with mental health problems This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The roadmap was made public at the first meeting of the Strategic Committee for Mental Health and Psychiatry, held June 28, 2018. It describes a global strategy to promote mental well being; prevent and intervene promptly to reduce suffering; guarantee coordinated care supported by access to psychiatry; and improve the living conditions of people with mental handicaps. The Minister will meet with the Committee once a year to track progress on these efforts.

UK - The NHS saves £324 million in a year by switching to better value medicines This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The British National Health Service (NHS) saved £324 million ($547 million Cdn) in 2017 by switching from expensive medicines to equally effective, better value alternatives. The NHS expects to make further savings of £100 million ($168.7 million Cdn) this year from the use of biosimilar and generic medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and inflammatory bowel conditions.

UK - Social prescribing schemes across England to receive £4.5 million This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The UK government is investing £4.5 million ($7.6 million Cdn) in programs across England that refer patients to local voluntary and community services such as walking and gardening clubs, and arts activities. The practice, known as social prescribing, aims to improve patients’ health and wellbeing while reducing demand on primary healthcare services.

Upcoming Events

Australia - 42nd World Hospital Congress
The central question at this conference is: How can healthcare evolve to meet 21st century demands. The first day explores the shift from volume to value as the focus of hospitals and health organizations. Day 2 looks at how integrated care can be supported at funding, structural and clinical levels, and Day 3 explores the potential for transforming all the data collected in the healthcare context into intelligence that will improve efficiency and quality. The conference takes place in Brisbane, Australia, from October 10 to 12, 2018.

Canada - Driving Access to Care
Canada Health Infoway's Partnership Conference will be held in Montreal on November 13 and 14, 2018. Speakers will describe progress in providing safer medication practices, empowering people with access to their health information, and achieving interoperability between systems.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Mapping primary care in Australia This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australia has high quality primary care by international standards, but this report finds that too many Australians continue to lack access because of costs or because they live in rural and remote areas. The report calls for a comprehensive national primary care framework; agreements between the federal government, Australia's states and Primary Health Networks (PHNs) to improve system management; and new funding, payment and organizational arrangements.

Europe - What is the experience of decentralized hospital governance in Europe? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the WHO, this brief explores experience with decentralized hospital governance in 10 European countries (Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Scotland, Spain and Sweden). It finds examples of systems with decentralized hospital governance collaborating to overcome equity and efficiency concerns, but notes that the importance of institutional and political contexts makes it difficult to transfer successful models from one country to another.

Europe - Medicines Reimbursement Policies in Europe This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This WHO report reviews reimbursement policies for medicines across Europe, finding that while most countries provide coverage for inpatients, outpatients usually pay a share of a medicine's price, imposing a significant financial burden for those with lower incomes. The report identifies ways to make medicines more affordable, including priority setting, consideration of vulnerable populations, regular evaluations, and strategic policy measures.

France - Healthcare establishments - 2018 edition This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Les établissements de santé - édition 2018 This annual publication provides a summary of data on healthcare establishments in France. It offers key figures on hospital activity and capacity, personnel and remuneration. Quality and safety indicators are detailed alongside financial results. Information is presented in 35 thematic sections, with tables and charts.

UK - How good is the NHS? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Comparing the UK National Health Service (NHS) with its international peers, this report shows that treatment wait times are in line with similar countries and that the NHS is relatively efficient, with lower than average administrative costs and widespread usage of cheaper medicines. However, patient outcomes remain poorer than the international average, with higher mortality rates for cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.

UK - Identifying options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK: international evidence This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Identifying options for health and social care funding in the UK, this paper explores how 16 other high-income countries have implemented changes to meet systemic challenges. Most of these countries have public health systems but rely more on private funding for social care. Internationally, funding reforms tend to be incremental and catalyzed by economic circumstances rather than demand for care.

International - Delivering Quality Health Services: A Global Imperative for Universal Health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
As countries around the world institute universal health coverage, there is growing acknowledgement that optimal health care requires a deliberate focus on quality. Published by the OECD, this document describes how to develop, refine and execute national quality policies and strategies, and supplies 22 recommendations for improving and sustaining quality of care.

International - Engaging patients to improve quality of care: a systematic review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Identifying strategies and factors that enable patient engagement in the design, delivery and evaluation of health services, this systematic review of 48 prior studies observes that levels of engagement appear to influence outcomes of service redesign. Discrete products are usually derived from low-level engagement (consultative unidirectional feedback), whereas care processes and structural outcomes are derived from high-level engagement (partnership strategies).

International - Investing in Medication Adherence Improves Health Outcomes and Health System Efficiency This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Currently, it is estimated that over half of all medicines are prescribed inappropriately, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly. This paper reviews international evidence on the magnitude of non-adherence to prescribed medicines, analyzes drivers of non-adherence, and identifies actions to reduce healthcare costs incurred by suboptimal medication use. The paper focuses on hypertension, diabetes and hyperlipidemia due to the prevalence of these diseases.