Canada - Health Equity in Northern Ontario This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The life expectancy rates for those living in northern Ontario continue to be lower and mortality rates higher than the rates in the province overall, according to a new report by Health Quality Ontario, the provincial advisor on the quality of health care.

Canada - Costs of Treating Pneumonia Will More Than Double By 2025 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A report by the Conference Board of Canada says the cost of treating pneumonia and the number of hospitalized cases will rise dramatically in Canada by 2025 due to the aging of the population. The report, co-sponsored by the Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care and Pfizer Canada estimates the number of pneumonia cases requiring hospitalization will double to 49,400, while treating the disease will cost over $530 million annually by 2025. Increasing vaccination is recommended to control the cost burden.

New Zealand - Transforming the disability support system This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Work to transform New Zealand’s disability support system is underway, with teams meeting for a series of workshops to design a system that provides disabled people and their families more choice and control. Teams are made up of disabled people, family representatives, and members of service organizations and government agencies.

UK - Consultation on proposals to enshrine safe staffing in law, starting with the nursing and midwifery workload and workforce planning tools This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Scotland’s government has released a consultation paper proposing new laws to enforce safe and effective staffing measures in the healthcare workforce, starting with nurses and midwives. The legislation would require organizations providing health and social care to apply standardized, evidence-based workload and workforce norms, and to monitor their use.

UK - New innovation scorecard platform launched This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In April 2017, the UK National Health Service (NHS) launched a web platform for the Innovation Scorecard. The scorecard reports on the use of medicines and medical technologies and the platform will make it easier to see uptake of pharmaceuticals and innovations within the NHS. An updated scorecard comes out in summer 2017.

Upcoming Events

Canada - 2017 international Preventing Overdiagnosis conference
Taking place in Québec City on August 17 to 19, 2017, this conference on the harms of too much medicine will be co-hosted by the Quebec Medical Association and will showcase research on the topic from around the globe. Plenaries, debates, and workshops will be presented in both English and French with simultaneous translation. Among the plenary speakers is Wendy Levinson, one of the founders of Choosing Wisely Canada.

France - 17th International Medical Geography Symposium
Every two years, the symposium welcomes health geographers and others interested in applying a spatial approach to their research. This 17th edition will be held in France from July 2 to 7, 2017, hosted by the University of Angers. Papers and posters presented at the conference will address social perspectives on health, health policy, healthcare and services, aging, urban and rural health, environment and health, global health, health human resources and health inequities.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Implementing Choosing Wisely Canada Recommendations in Ontario to Improve Quality of Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Choosing Wisely Canada is clinician-led campaign to help patients and healthcare providers engage in conversations about unnecessary care. This report from Ontario highlights provincial and local initiatives across three sectors (hospital, long-term and primary care) to improve quality of care by implementing Choosing Wisely Canada recommendations. The report provides an overview of resources and support tools available in Ontario.

Canada - How Healthy are Canadians? A trend analysis of the health of Canadians from a healthy living and chronic disease perspective This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by Canada’s Public Health Agency, this trend analysis examines the last 15 years of data on key risk factors, major chronic diseases, mood and anxiety disorders, and overall life expectancy. In general Canada is a healthy nation, although major chronic diseases (cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes) cause 65% of all deaths.  

Europe - The Europeanization of Health Care Coverage Decisions. EU-Regulation, Policy Learning and Cooperation in Decision-Making This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This German paper presents two cases of Europeanization in health policy, traditionally controlled by national governments and unaffected by European integration. The first case deals with how European Union (EU) transparency directives have forced member states to establish formal healthcare coverage decision-making procedures. The second case looks at health technology assessment and how the EU has successfully promoted the field.

US - How cultural alignment and the use of incentives can promote a culture of health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Drawing on interviews conducted with 43 healthcare stakeholders whose work focused on organizational culture and incentives, this report examines how organizations are addressing and leveraging these two topics to promote health, as well as to identify facilitators, barriers, best practices and lessons learned. The report is part of a series on building a culture of health in the US.

International - Future and potential spending on health 2015–40: development assistance for health, and government, prepaid private, and out-of-pocket health spending in 184 countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published in the Lancet, this study analyses all-sector government spending and health spending data in 184 countries from 1980–2015 to estimate government and health spending (government, out-of-pocket, and private) through the year 2040. The study expects global spending on health to increase from $9 trillion in 2014 to $24 trillion in 2040, and predicts that health spending will increase fastest in upper-income countries.

International - Using media to impact health policy-making: an integrative systematic review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Media interventions can play a role in influencing health policies. This systematic review of three qualitative studies, seven quantitative studies, and 11 case studies assesses the effects of planned media interventions, including social media, on the health policy process. The review concludes there is a lack of reliable evidence to guide decisions on the use of media interventions to influence policy-making.

International - Through the looking glass: A practical path to improving healthcare through transparency This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Transparency in health care is considered important, but has failed to transform quality or costs. Often, progress has been symbolic and given rise to disputes between policymakers, providers and professionals. Awash with data, some systems are now finding it more difficult to work out what is going on. This study suggests there is considerable potential still waiting to be unlocked in the strategic use of health system data to achieve transparency.

International - Defining a staged-based process for economic and financial evaluations of mHealth programs This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Mobile and wireless technology for health (mHealth) has the potential to improve health outcomes by addressing critical systems constraints. This paper aims to improve understanding among mHealth program managers and key stakeholders of how to select methodologies for economic and financial evaluation. It outlines a six-stage process for integrating economic and financial evaluation methods into the monitoring and evaluation of mHealth solutions.