Australia - New funding arrangements to boost after hours GP Services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australians are to receive improved access to doctors under a new payment model that encourages general practitioners to treat patients outside of regular business hours. Beginning July 1, 2015, general practices that provide after-hours services will be able to apply for incentives from the new $100 million federal government program.

Canada - Canadians lagging well behind similar countries on access to new medicines: report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report prepared by IMS Brogan for Rx&D says Canadians’ access to new medicines ranks 17th among 18 OECD countries. Canadians face wait times of over 460 days to gain access to new medicines, and only 23% of Health Canada-approved new medicines in 2014 are included within public drug plans.

UK - PM on plans for a seven-day NHS This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Britain’s newly re-elected Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced that his government will work to make all National Health Service (NHS) providers, facilities and programs available to the UK public seven days a week. The plan will initially ensure that patients have access to general practitioners at evenings and on weekends by the end of 2015.

USA - About 137 million individuals with private insurance are guaranteed access to free preventive services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The US government has released data showing that 137 million Americans with private health insurance now have guaranteed access to free preventative services under provisions mandated by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The services include blood pressure screening, obesity prevention, immunization, tobacco cessation, mental health interventions, domestic violence counselling and HIV testing.

International - World Health Statistics reports on global health goals for 194 countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The WHO's 2015 Report records progress towards health-related Millenium Goals in 194 countries. According to the report, a majority of surveyed countries have reduced maternal and child deaths and increased access to drinkable water. Global WHO targets for the prevention of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis remain on schedule. However, inequalities persist, and more must be done to ensure that vulnerable populations have access to health services.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Health summit
Taking place on June 18 and 19, 2015, in Montreal, this summit on innovation in Quebec’s healthcare system brings together business and healthcare managers to focus on healthcare solutions that can increase system efficiency. Telemedicine, electronic health records, clinical monitoring, personalized medicine and service integration are among the innovations on the program. A first day of presentations will be followed by a half-day of workshops geared to the public and private sectors.

The Netherlands - Integrated Primary Care: Research, Policy & Practice
The European Forum for Primary Care (EFPC) is holding this conference in Amsterdam, from August 31 to September 1, 2015. Featuring presentations, panels and workshops, the conference will focus on the policy and practice of primary care integration in Europe and illuminate recent research.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - The use of financial incentives in Australian general practice This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Relying on extensive surveys, this study examines the uptake of financial incentive payments by Australian general practitioners (GPs) and identifies those most likely to participate. The study concludes that administrative support appears to be an important predictor of use, indicating that GPs do not always consider it worth their while to claim incentives. Rural GPs claim incentive payments most often.

Canada - Evaluating the Collaborative Emergency Centre Experience in Nova Scotia This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Nova Scotia’s eight Collaborative Emergency Centres (CECs) link together primary care teams, urgent care capacity, and Emergency Health Services (EHS). This provincial government report evaluates CECs to understand the model’s strengths and weaknesses, its impact on patient access to primary and emergency care, and the impact on providers working within CECs.

Europe - Assessing chronic disease management in European health systems: country reports This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This book published by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies systematically examines efforts in 12 countries in Europe to redesign delivery systems to provide appropriate support to people with long-standing health problems. It compares approaches to chronic care and evaluates the outcomes of these initiatives.

Europe - Building primary care in a changing Europe: case studies This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In this report, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies presents structured case studies of primary care in 31 European countries. They establish the context of primary care, key governance and economic conditions, look at the workforce and at how primary care services are delivered, and assess the quality and efficiency of the different systems.

Europe - Strengthening health system accountability: a WHO European Region multi-country study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This WHO report summarizes European countries' experience with strengthening health system accountability in the context of the momentum created by the Tallinn Charter of 2008 and the Health 2020 policy framework of 2012. Countries have set rigorous goals and are measuring and reviewing health systems' performance, taking significant steps to improve health system accountability.

USA - Reducing Health and Health Care Disparities: Implementation Lessons and Best Practices for Health Care Organizations This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Undertaken to address health disparities more effectively, this paper shares lessons from nine US healthcare organizations on programs designed to address disparities between patient populations. The paper offers concrete recommendations to improve the quality of healthcare delivery systems and implement interventions to tackle inequities in patient care and outcomes.

USA - Working Under a Clinic-Level Quality Incentive: Primary Care Clinicians’ Perceptions This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Some designers of clinician pay-for-performance programs argue that team-level incentives (where members receive identical incentives based on overall performance) are most effective. This study surveyed 198 primary care clinicians to obtain opinions on a team-based quality incentive awarded at the clinical level. Most of the clinicians (73%) favoured a mix of clinic-level and personal incentives to maintain collaboration while also recognizing individual performance.

International - Knowledge to action for solving complex problems: insights from a review of nine international cases This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This paper published by the Public Health Agency of Canada reports the results of a scan of systems approaches to knowledge to action (KTA) with the goal of identifying how to optimize their implementation and impact. Nine initiatives were selected and information was gathered on each to reveal guidelines for implementing KTA systems. These include nurturing relationships, co-production of knowledge and the creation of feedback loops.