Headlines

Australia - Elective surgery waiting times 2015–16: Australian hospital statistics This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Recently released statistics show that wait times for elective surgery in Australia’s public hospitals are improving. In 2015-16, 50% of patients were admitted within 37 days, and 90% within 260 days. About 2% of patients waited more than a year for their surgery, compared with 2.7% in 2013-14.

Canada - New data shows continued improvements in Canada’s health system performance This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Canada’s health system performance is showing continued improvements according to new data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). The CIHI reports improvements in long-term care (lower usage of restraints and inappropriate antipsychotics); hospital deaths (a 3% improvement in 2015-2016); and wait times in emergency departments (down slightly from 2013-2014).

Canada - Improvements in health system quality still in the future says New Brunswick Health Council This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The New Brunswick Health Council (NBHC) has released its 2016 report card for the province’s health system, giving it a C grade that signifies adherence to national standards but no improvements in system performance and quality of care. Primary care and long-term care continue to push New Brunswick’s grade downwards.

UK - Health Secretary wants more doctors and nurses to occupy positions at the most senior levels of NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The UK Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has announced a program to train medical and nursing graduates for senior administrative positions in the National Health Service (NHS). As part of the plan, universities will develop an NHS-approved Masters of Business Administration (MBA) curriculum. Only a third of NHS executives currently have clinical backgrounds.

Upcoming Events

Spain - WHO Barcelona Course on Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage
This week-long intensive course offered by the WHO takes place in Barcelona, from March 13 to 17, 2017. Addressing the overarching theme of universal health coverage, the course will review policy instruments to improve health system performance through better health-financing policy. It is built around 5 modules: coordinating reform, raising revenues, pooling health revenues, purchasing and designing a benefit package. The course is designed for policy-makers and senior managers.

Greece - XVIII Conference of the International Association of Health Policy in Europe
This conference will focus on contemporary developments in European health policies within the context of capitalist economic restructuring. It will cover the following themes: international trade agreements and their impact on Europe’s health; privatization and marketization of healthcare services in Europe; the Eurozone crisis and its impact on health and health policy reform; the refugee crisis and its health and social implications; academic freedom under threat in Europe; and social movements and health in Europe. The event will take place in Thessaloniki, Greece, on September 21-24, 2017.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Gainsharing and shared savings strategies in the healthcare setting: Evidence for effectiveness This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) is exploring ways to leverage resources with the aim of improving outcomes and value for money. One way to achieve this is to incentivize and reward innovation and quality improvement using gainsharing or shared savings strategies. This internal report investigates evidence for the effectiveness of these strategies. It summarizes 25 facilitators of gainsharing within the AHS, along with 12 barriers to its implementation.

Europe - Challenges and opportunities in improving access to medicines through efficient public procurement in the WHO European Region This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by the WHO examines methods used by European countries to improve efficiency in the procurement of medicines. It describes schemes to minimize low-value repetitive purchases, increase economies of scale and reduce transactional costs. Other instruments to leverage improved efficiency are discussed, such as clinical formularies and the use of generic or biosimilar products.

Norway - The challenges of primary health care nurse leaders in the wake of New Health Care Reform in Norway This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Instituted in 2012, health care reform in Norway has devolved administrative responsibility for primary care to municipalities while promoting a more collaborative and multidisciplinary approach for health care professionals. Based on interviews with nurse leaders in 10 municipalities, this article draws attention to their professional concerns about the quality of collaborative nursing care under hierarchical municipal structures and leadership.

The Netherlands - Spending on Health Care in the Netherlands: Not Going So Dutch This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Netherlands is among the top spenders on health in the world. This paper documents health care expenditures over the life cycle, looking at areas where spending is concentrated. Claims data covering both curative and long-term care expenses is included. Findings show that health spending is highly skewed towards poorer individuals and rises steeply with age, implying substantial interpersonal redistribution.

UK - Developing People - Improving Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Created by NHS Improvement, this evidence-based national framework guides action on skills building and leadership development in quality improvement. It focuses on helping NHS and social care staff develop four critical capabilities: systems leadership, compassion and inclusivity, talent management and knowledge of established quality improvement methods.

USA - Government Spending In Health and Nonhealth Sectors Associated With Improvement In County Health Rankings This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Using census data, this study measures the impact of community health and non-health expenditures on a broad measure of overall health, the US County Health Rankings (CHR). The authors of the study found significant positive associations between expenditures and County Health Rankings for seven of the fourteen expenditure categories examined: community health care and public health, public hospitals, fire protection, K–12 education, corrections, libraries, and housing and community development.

International - Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2016. Measuring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the OECD, this book presents key indicators of health status and healthcare resources, financing, and quality across 27 Asia-Pacific countries. Each indicator is presented with charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief analyses highlighting major findings, and methodological information concerning limitations in data comparability.

International - Strategizing national health in the 21st century: a handbook This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Released by the WHO, this handbook is designed as a resource providing up-to-date and practical guidance on national health planning. It establishes a set of best practices to support strategic plans for health and represents the wealth of experience accumulated by the WHO on national health policies, strategies and plans.

International - Community Hospitals in Selected High Income Countries: A Scoping Review of Approaches and Models This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Seeking to understand the nature and scope of service provision in community hospitals, this UK review examined 75 studies from 10 high-income countries. It found that most community hospitals provide a diverse range of services catering to local needs, and that they collaborate with other local health care organizations on co-location of services, shared primary care workforces, and access to specialists.