Australia - Spending on mental health services hits $8 billion This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) shows that $8 billion was spent in 2014 by Australia’s federal and state governments on mental health services, equivalent to $344 per Australian. Government funding for mental health services has increased by 4.7% annually since 2009.

Ireland - Varadkar launches radical €2M pilot scheme to transform nurse staffing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ireland’s Health Minister, Leo Varadkar, has announced a new national framework for safe hospital nurse staffing that will be piloted in three acute hospital inpatient units at a cost of €2 million. The framework will allocate nurses according to patient need rather than ward size.

UK - Review shows how NHS hospitals can save money and improve care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A government-commissioned review of the UK National Health Service (NHS) says NHS hospitals must standardize procedures, be more transparent, and work harder at efficiencies. The Carter Review says implementing the recommendations will help to end variations in quality of care and finances that currently cost the NHS billions.

UK - New investment in mental health services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The UK government has announced that an extra £1 billion ($1.99 billion Cdn) will be invested in mental health care by 2021 to ensure that a million more Britons receive mental health support. The cost to the UK of mental illness is estimated at £105 billion annually ($209 billion Cdn).

Upcoming Events

Canada - International Congress on Personalized Health care
P4 Medicine (personalized, predictive, preventive and participatory) is expected to redefine health care management. The application of this approach raises certain technological, financial, ethical and legal questions, along with the challenge of integrating this approach into current health systems. This conference, to be held in Montreal from June 12 to 15, 2016, will examine these questions. The deadline to submit an abstract for oral or poster presentation is February 26.

Canada - Governance, health policy and vulnerable populations: from research to practice in population health
This conference of the ACFAS will take place from May 10 to 13, 2016, at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Focussed on population health issues, it will address six major themes: ethics, social inequalities in health and primary care services, public policy, mental health, global health, information technology and communications, and interventional research training in population health.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - 25 years of health expenditure in Australia: 1989–90 to 2013–14 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), this report charts 25 years of health expenditures in Australia (1989-2014). It shows that expenditures grew from $50.3 billion in 1989–90 to $154.6 billion in 2013-14, increasing over that time from 6.5% to 9.7% of GDP.

Canada - A coherent basket of services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Une offre de services cohérente The INSPQ submitted this brief to the Québec Health and Welfare Commissioner consultation on the basket of publicly insured health and social services. Among its recommendations, the INSPQ considers that the discussion must promote the participation of professionals from different disciplines, aim to reduce health inequalities, and allow each intervention level to make decisions that reflect its needs.

Canada - Levels of care, quality norms and standards This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Les niveaux de soins. Normes et standards de qualité The guide is now available on the Web site of the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS). This guide aims at supporting establishments and healthcare professionals in the adoption and the application of policies concerning levels of care which answer the proposed norms and standards. It is designed to promote the good use of the levels of care so that they always remain a shared clinical decision-making tool in varied contexts.

Europe - Using institutional theory to analyse hospital responses to external demands for finance and quality in five European countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Using institutional theory and an analysis of healthcare quality practices in 10 hospitals in five European countries, this British paper explores pressures to improve quality and constrain spending. How hospitals responded to these challenges was dependent on managerial competence and stability, and the coherence of demands from external institutions.

Europe - Healthcare privatisation in Europe. Mapping reforms This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Privatisation de la santé en Europe. Un outil de classification des réformes This working paper prepared by researchers from the Centre d'économie de l'Université Paris Nord analyzes the privatization of healthcare that has occurred in many European countries over the past few decades. They characterized this privatization according to two criteria: the scope (financing and delivery of care) and the 'external' or 'internal' nature of privatization. The authors then empirically analyze privatization in the health systems of 14 European countries since 1980 and present a mapping of the privatization process.

New Zealand - Primary Care Working Group on General Practice Sustainability. Report to the Minister of Health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2013, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health established a Primary Care Working Group to provide guidance on primary care funding, sustainability, and workforce arrangements. This report by the Working Group makes 19 recommendations for high needs groups, co-payment targeting, primary care workforce sustainability and service integration.

UK - OECD reviews of health care quality: United Kingdom 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by the OECD looks at healthcare quality in the UK’s four regions: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It says the four health systems need to publish more disaggregated quality and outcomes data, and balance top-down approaches to quality management with bottom-up approaches to quality improvement.

UK - Monitoring change in health care through statistical process control methods This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The approach known as statistical process control (SPC) has been used to monitor health outcomes in clinical pathways and a number of specific health services. This research report discusses SPC methods and describes how they might be applied to population level changes across UK healthcare organizations and innovative care models within the National Health Service (NHS).

USA - The Patient-Centered Medical Home’s Impact on Cost and Quality. Annual Review of Evidence 2014-2015 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Patient-Centred Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) is an American primary care delivery initiative that emphasizes a 'medical home' approach to improve patient-centred care while reducing care costs. This 2015 evidence review provides a summary of 'medical home' cost and utilization results from studies, industry reports, and government evaluations.

International - Which country has the world's best healthcare system? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Comparing health outcomes and value for money, this article from the UK’s Guardian newspaper examines health systems in France, Ireland, Sweden, China, USA, Japan, Spain, Italy, Germany, Russia, Australia and the UK. It finds that the UK has the best healthcare system overall, but notes that it also has the worst cancer outcomes of any rich country.