Headlines

Australia - Primary health care reform discussion paper released This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australia’s health ministry has released a paper on ways to better support community-dwelling patients with complex and chronic diseases. Options discussed include enrolling patients under a single provider who coordinates multi-disciplinary care; setting payments for care of chronic disease as a defined package of care; and adopting international best practices.

Canada - Reductions in federal health care spending worse than anticipated: New economic analysis This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), released at the Council of the Federation on July 16, 2015, finds that reductions in federal health transfers may be greater than first feared, leading to a greater strain on provinces already struggling to sustain Canada’s public healthcare system. The cuts are the result of changes from the funding model agreed to in the 2004 Health Accord to a new formula based on the growth rate of Canada’s GDP. The report, The Canada Health Transfer Disconnect: An Aging Population, Rising Health Care Costs and a Shrinking Federal Role in Funding, written by Hugh Mackenzie, argues that these changes mean federal support for health care will drop from the current range of 22-23% to 19%.

Europe - More investment in health promotion and primary prevention is needed to reduce the burden of chronic diseases across Europe, says a report published by the J-A CHRODIS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A new report on 14 European countries by Joint Action on Addressing Chronic Diseases and Healthy Aging across the Life Cycle (JA-CHRODIS) shows that gaps and needs in health promotion and primary prevention are similar between countries. Most gaps and needs relate to funding, capacity development, evaluation, monitoring and research.

UK - Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt sets out the direction of reform for the future NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the UK government, this transcript of a July 16, 2015 speech by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt sets out a five-year reform plan for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). The plan emphasizes integrated seven-day-a-week patient-centred care, service devolution, organizational transparency, quality improvement and digital health technologies.

International - Global health workforce, finances remain low for mental health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Worldwide, nearly 1 in 10 people have a mental health disorder, but only 1% of the global health workforce is working in mental health. According to this WHO report, this brings huge inequalities in access to mental health services. The provision of mental health care by primary care physicians and nurses is key to progress.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Canada 2020 Healthcare Summit
The focus of this year's conference, taking place in Ottawa on November 30 and December 1, 2015, is "Creating a sustainable healthcare system for Canada". It will bring together leaders from policy, medical, academic and business communities to discuss disruptive technologies, international models and public engagement.

Canada - Healthy Canada: Financial Models and Fiscal Incentives in Health and Health Care
There is much to learn from public and private sector organizations and policy experts in Canada and abroad on how financial models and tax incentives can be leveraged to improve population health and health system sustainability. This Conference Board of Canada conference, taking place December 1, 2015, in Toronto, will provide practical insights and evidence-based solutions that can shift the status quo.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Options for Finance in Primary Care in Australia This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Austerity policies in Australia are encouraging new finance policy options for primary health care. This article says stakeholders should look beyond payment schemes to financing models focused on outcomes. The article calls for introducing social impact bonds for private investors and says primary networks should adopt financial models based on shared services.

Canada - Unleashing Innovation: Excellent Healthcare for Canada Report of the Advisory Panel on Healthcare Innovation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This panel, chaired by Dr. David Naylor for Health Canada, undertook wide-ranging consultations and commissioned research in order to identify the five most promising areas for innovation in Canadian healthcare to be acted upon by the federal government. Top among them is patient engagement and empowerment, with system integration, technological transformation, better procurement and regulation also found to be key to breaking the gridlock. The report examines how federal institutions can be restructured to support the spread of innovative practices.

Canada - The Concentration of Hospital-based Medical Spending: Evidence from Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Using longitudinal administrative data, this paper documents how hospital spending is concentrated cross-sectionally over time. Starting around age 50, expenditures in Québec rise rapidly. The top 1% of users account for 55.5% of total spending. Spending in the last year of life accounts for 11% of total hospital spending, with most occurring in the last month of life.

Europe - Self-assessment tool for the evaluation of essential public health operations in the WHO European Region This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Through a process of extensive consultation, the WHO Regional Office for Europe devised 10 essential public health operations (EPHOs) that define the field of modern public health for the Member States in the WHO European Region. This report provides a series of criteria that national public health officials can use to evaluate the delivery of the EPHOs in their particular settings and can contribute to the development of public health policies.

Europe - The case for investing in public health: the strengthening public health services and capacity This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Europe’s economic crisis has led to increased demand and reduced resources for health sectors. This WHO report outlines quick returns from public health interventions that promote healthy employment, housing, mental health, physical activity and nutrition. The report gives examples of interventions that can bring quick returns and approaches that promise longer-term gains.

UK - Better value in the NHS. The role of changes in clinical practice This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Health Service (NHS) has to deliver £22 billion in productivity improvements by 2021. This report from the Kings Fund says the NHS can get better value from its budget by changing clinical practice to focus on improving outcomes at lower costs and reducing waste and inefficiency. All expenditures need to be scrutinized.

UK - New organisational models of primary care to meet the future needs of the NHS A brief overview of recent reports This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Future challenges faced by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) include an aging population suffering an increasing number of long-term conditions. This overview describes new primary care models that redefine roles in general practice and involve organizational forms such as super-practices and polyclinics. Community roles for specialists and pharmacists are examined.

UK - A guide to quality improvement methods This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Developed by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), this guide introduces 12 quality-improvement methods based on a review of the international literature. It describes when and how the methods should be used and presents case examples and tools to assist implementation. Methods include clinical audits, performance benchmarking, and process mapping.

USA - The convergence of health care trends. Innovation strategies for emerging opportunities This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Powerful trends in the US healthcare market are creating opportunities for innovation in community care, preventive care, personalized care and chronic care. This article by consultants at Deloitte says healthcare organizations should capitalize on these opportunities, and provides a model called ‘Ten Innovation Types,’ which details the building blocks of innovation that organizations should consider.