Headlines

Canada - Alberta Health Services continues to put patients first with new strategy This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A new Alberta Health Services (AHS) strategy paper says patients and families must be welcomed as partners within their healthcare teams. The Patient First Strategy identifies priority actions needed to further embed the principles of patient and family-centred care within AHS in a consistent, standardized manner.

Ireland - Update on Public Consultation: Scope for Private Health Insurance to incorporate Additional Primary Care Services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ireland's Department of Health has released an update on submissions to a public consultation on incorporating additional primary care services into private insurance. Part of a process to identify capacity for service expansion, the 31 submissions came from private health insurers, physician representative organizations, and private hospitals.

UK - Every complaint matters: a seven-point plan for the NHS and social care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Health Watch UK has released a 7-point plan to improve the complaints process used in British public health and social care. The plan calls for creating a complaints advocacy service along with a national complaints organization to improve systems, capture learning, and ensure that complaints are reported and resolved properly.

UK - Hospital productivity report shows how NHS can make large savings This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A British government productivity report has found that National Health Service (NHS) hospitals could save £5 billion annually by making more efficient use of staff and medicines. The report also recommends cutting the large number of products used in the NHS, a measure that could bring savings of £1 billion per year.

International - New report shows that 400 million do not have access to essential health services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A report by the WHO says 400 million of the world's people still have no access to essential health services, including family planning, obstetrical care, child immunization, anti-retroviral therapy and tuberculosis treatment. The report, Tracking Universal Health Coverage, measures healthcare access and services to assess countries’ progress towards universal health coverage.

Upcoming Events

Belgium - Lean Healthcare Transformation Summit
This conference takes place October 20 and 21, 2015, in Brussels. It includes keynote presentations by American, Canadian and European experts in Lean, along with learning sessions and workshops presented by European hospitals and the Thedacare Centre for Healthcare Value.

Italy - 8th European Public Health Conference
This year's conference takes place in Milan from October 14 to 17, 2015. Entitled Health in Europe: From global to local policies, methods and practices, presentations will look at global health risks, health information, best practices at local level, and much more.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Belgium - Publicly Funded Practice-Oriented Clinical Trials This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by KCE researchers looks at the advisability and feasibility of the Belgian healthcare system financing practice-oriented clinical trials. The definition of clinical trial is broadened out to include not just registered trials, but also those concerned with safety and efficacy, medical devices, lifestyle interventions, surgical techniques, diagnostic technologies, etc. The authors consider that the sustainability of public healthcare systems increasingly relies on making evidence-based choices about what to cover.

Canada - Canadian Public Administration - Special issue on performance measurement, performance management, and accountability This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This special issue Includes an editorial and eight original articles (five in English and three in French) on performance measurement, management, and accountability in Canada. It looks at cities (municipal management indicators); provinces (Quebec's health and welfare commissioner); and the national scene (health system performance reporting). Other articles look at performance measurement in public sector management, service delivery and research.

Europe - Competition among health care providers - Investigating policy options in the European Union This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The European Union (EU) Expert Panel on Effective Investments in Health (EXPH) issued this report examining competition among healthcare providers as a way to improve the efficient use of resources. The report recognizes the importance of patient choice, saying it works best when patients can easily assess the quality of services.

UK - Transforming general practice: what are the levers for change? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Health system cutbacks have meant that British general practitioners (GPs) face unprecedented demand as their role in public health and primary care is emphasized. Based on a health foundation workshop, this briefing focuses on the use of system 'levers' to manage pressure on general practices and help them achieve increased organizational scale and support.

UK - Care Act first-phase reforms This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Britain's 2012 Care Act reduces formal health and social care services, and increases people's responsibility for their own care and support. This report looks at the latest changes to the Care Act that came into effect in April 2015 to see if reform has achieved government objectives and provided value for money. The evidence so far is not encouraging.

UK - Ending the crisis in NHS leadership. A plan for renewal This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report on a British government inquiry into the leadership and management of the National Health Service (NHS) finds serious problems caused by scale, complexity, redundancy, disorganization, funding gaps, vacancies and an inability to lead or innovate. The report makes over 100 recommendations highlighting streamlined reporting, clear responsibilities, decentralized decision-making and local budgeting autonomy.

USA - Implementing administrative evidence based practices: lessons from the field in six local health departments across the United States This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Administrative evidence based practices (A-EBPs) are agency level structures and activities that are positively associated with performance measures. This study explores differences in local health department (LHD) characteristics that influence the implementation of A-EBPs. It finds that LHDs that implement A-EBPs are more likely to have strong leadership, professional development activities, financial flexibility and academic partnerships.

International - Health system 2015 developments in former Soviet countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This issue of Euro Health contains five articles on recent health system reforms in the 15 countries formerly part of the Soviet Union. Three articles on the post-Soviet countries discuss access to medicines, hospital sector challenges, and primary, inpatient and specialized care. Two other articles discuss Ukrainian health system reforms and barriers to universal coverage in Uzbekistan.