Australia - Palliative care-related hospitalisations growing faster than other hospital services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Hospitalizations for palliative care have been rising more quickly than other hospitalizations in Australia, according to a report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Between 2012-2017, palliative care-related hospitalizations rose by over 25%, while all hospitalizations increased by 18%. Half were for people with cancer.

Canada - New data available on home care and mental health and addictions This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Canadians now have more information about home and community care and mental health and addictions services in their province or territory. Recently, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released 3 new indicators that show how Canada’s health systems are faring when it comes to how many Canadians are hospitalized because of harm caused by substance use; seek frequent emergency room (ER) care for help with mental health and/or addictions; have their hospital stay extended because the right home and community care services and supports are not ready. These indicators are the first 3 of 12 chosen by the federal, provincial and territorial health ministries, in consultation with Canadians, to measure access to mental health and addictions services and to home and community care.

Canada - Six in 10 people believe Canadians will have to delay retirement to afford health care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A survey commissioned by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) reveals that Canadians are concerns about the future of health care amid a ballooning seniors’ population. Nine in ten respondents say they worry about the system, while six out of 10 believe Canadians will have to delay retirement to afford health care. Most anticipate paying more out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

Canada - Federal investments announced to accelerate medical breakthroughs that will enable truly personalized health care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The federal government is investing up to $49 million in the Digital Health and Discovery Platform (DHDP), a network of nearly 100 public, private and academic partners building a cutting-edge Canada-wide health data platform. Researchers and doctors will use the new platform to accelerate the development of new and personalized treatments for disease.

International - Smarter research & development to tackle global health priorities This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The WHO has launched an online resource devoted to health products with limited markets. The new Health Product Profile aims to promote research and development for products to combat neglected diseases and threats to global health, including antimicrobial resistance and diseases with pandemic potential.

International - Adopting a healthy lifestyle helps reduce the risk of dementia This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New guidelines by the WHO state that people can reduce the risk of dementia by exercising, not smoking, avoiding alcohol, eating nutritious foods, limiting weight gain and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The number of people with dementia is expected to triple globally over the next 30 years.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Restoring Mental Health in a Fractured World This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Now in its fourth year, the Mental Health for All (MH4A) Conference is an important place of convergence, where service providers, front-line workers, researchers, funders, policy makers and people with lived experience of mental health problems and illnesses come together to set the agenda. MH4A 2019 will take place in Toronto on September 23-25, 2019.

Switzerland - Swiss Health Economics Workshop 2019 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This fourth annual workshop takes place September 13, 2019, in Lucerne, Switzerland. It brings together Swiss researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. The workshop is organized by the Swiss Society of Health Economics, which has a mandate to foster research in health economics, inform the public about health economic insights and represent them vis-à-vis Swiss parliaments and governments.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Europe - Opinion on Defining value in “value-based healthcare” This hyperlink will open in a new window.
"Value-based healthcare” is often discussed as an idea to improve resource allocation, even though there is no single agreed definition of the concept, or even of what value means (for whom) in the health context. This report by the European Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health (EXPH) provides a definition based on four pillars: personal, technical, allocative and societal value.

Europe - Policy coherence as a driver of health equity This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This WHO publication describes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals framework to advance policy coherence for health equity. The publication discusses systemic and administrative mechanisms that can be used by the public health community to drive policy coherence, and focuses on the capacity to use data across different settings and sectors. It highlights the need for action across policy domains.

Sweden - Implementation of change in health care in Sweden: a qualitative study of professionals’ change responses This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Through interviews with 30 public healthcare physicians and nurses, this study explored how professionals respond to changes in their workplace. Responses were analyzed and situated along a seven-stage continuum from resistance to acceptance. The authors identified 10 types of change response, which could be mapped onto five of the seven categories. Most of the responses were classified as either indifference or passive resistance to changes.

UK - Integrating Health and Social Care. State or Market? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This article argues that competition and market forces are the best way for the UK to achieve integration of health care (traditionally centrally delivered) and social care (diffusely organized). It considers the health sector should be made more like the social care sector to increase pluralism in provision and financing. Providers would compete on the basis of how well they integrate different aspects of care.

International - Applications of Machine Learning in Real-Life Digital Health Interventions: Review of the Literature This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Machine learning has attracted considerable research interest as a means of developing smart digital health interventions. This paper from Greece reviewed seven studies of applied machine learning in real-life digital health interventions. The interventions targeted depression, stress management, speech therapy, weight loss, smoking cessation, phantom limb pain and personalized nutrition. None followed a rigorous machine learning evaluation methodology, and the authors call for further research.

International - Realising the Full Potential of Primary Health Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In many parts of the world, primary health care remains fragmented and weak. Even in Europe, 26% of patients with chronic conditions go 12 months without being seen by any doctor. This policy brief published by the OECD describes the strategies and resources needed to strengthen primary health care, including changes to organizational models, financing, and physician training.

International - How many nurses do we need? A review and discussion of operational research techniques applied to nurse staffing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This review of 27 studies promotes an alternative viewpoint on safe nurse staffing levels. It explores operational research approaches applied to hospital nurse staffing and discusses how their use of problem structuring and mathematical modelling adds to traditional methods. Operational research involves the use of advanced analytical techniques to solve optimization problems under conditions of uncertainty and constraints.

International - Health Spending Projections to 2030 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
To gain a better understanding of the financial sustainability of health systems, the OECD has produced health-spending projections to 2030 for its 36 member countries. This document explains the projections, puts them in context, and considers their policy implications. On average, estimated OECD health spending will reach 10.2% of GDP by 2030, up from 8.8% in 2015.