Headlines

Australia - Minister for Health Sussan Ley has launched Check Your Cancer Risk, an interactive online tool to help people understand how lifestyle factors can contribute to their risk of cancer This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australia’s Ministry of Health has launched an interactive online tool to help Australians understand lifestyle cancer risks due to physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, sun exposure, and weight and diet. The resource, called Check Your Cancer Risk, describes modifiable lifestyle factors and provides recommendations on reducing cancer risk.

Canada - New report reveals inequities in people’s health risks, care and outcomes based on their income This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Health Quality Ontario has issued a health equity report showing that the province’s poorest people are more likely to have shorter lifespans and suffer from chronic conditions. Ontarians below the poverty line are twice as likely to have multiple chronic conditions and die up to five years earlier than richer residents.

New Zealand - New Zealand Health Strategy launched This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New Zealand’s government has launched a national health strategy developed with the help of sector leaders and extensive public consultation. The new strategy identifies themes for the health system’s future direction and lists 27 areas for action over the next five years.

UK - General practice forward view This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The UK National Health Service (NHS) has published a plan to stabilize and transform general practice in England. The plan commits an extra £2.4 billion ($4.4 billion Cdn) a year to support general practice services and includes measures to modernize infrastructure and drive workforce efficiencies.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Healthcare Summit
This conference on Innovation and Evidence-Based Best Practices will be held in Kelowna, BC, on June 27 and 28, 2016. It is an opportunity for healthcare officials, senior policy makers, and the private sector to meet and discuss the ways in which government transforms healthcare delivery to produce effective and efficient solutions.

UK - EvidenceLive
This global forum takes place at the University of Oxford, from June 22 to 24, 2016. Central themes include improving the quality of research evidence; transforming the communication of evidence; training the next generation of leaders in applied evidence, and translating evidence into better-quality health services.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Review of after-hours service models: Learnings for regional, rural and remote communities This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Produced by a Primary Health Network (PHN) in the state of Queensland, this review evaluates Australian delivery models of after-hours primary health care, including general practice visits, hospital clinics, and telephone and internet-supported triage models. The review discusses the development of delivery models in rural and remote areas that might address poor public access and workforce insufficiencies.

Australia - Value co-creation: a methodology to drive primary health care reform This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) devotes this issue to a discussion of value co-creation as a methodology to drive Australian primary health care. Nine articles consider the topic from different perspectives, including mental health, the role of consumers, organizational performance, pharmacy structuration, and quality improvement tools and resources.

Belgium - Model for the Organization and Reimbursement of Psychological and Orthopedagogical Care in Belgium This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Based on an analysis of mental health care and reimbursement in selected European countries, and a review of mental health services in Belgium, this report discusses the possible introduction of psychotherapy into the reimbursement package of Belgium’s national health insurance. A financing model is included.

Canada - Increasing accessibility and quality of primary care through family medicine groups This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Despite the support of stakeholders, the implementation of family medicine groups (FMGs) in Quebec has been slow. The number of registered patients has barely increased, and patients who are registered report better continuity of care, but not access to care. This report finds that the rushed nature of reform and slow computerization to enable electronic medical records that facilitate multidisciplinary care are, in part, responsible for poor implementation.

Canada - The Private Cost of Public Queues for Medically Necessary Care, 2016 edition This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This Fraser Institute briefing calculates the private costs of waiting times for treatment in Canada (i.e. the value of time lost while waiting). Valuing only hours lost during the work week, the estimated cost of waiting for medically necessary care in 2015 was $1.2 billion. This works out to an average of about $1,304 for each of the 894,449 Canadians waiting for treatment that year.

Europe - Using Evidence. What works? A discussion paper This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Identifying 354 uptake models from the research literature, this paper notes that an entire industry now helps identify ways to link research to practice in many fields, especially healthcare. The paper discusses the literature’s most effective strategies to increase appropriate uptake of research evidence in health care and includes over 50 examples and case studies.

France - The relationship between costs and quality of care : a profitable alliance for hospitals? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Investigating the relationship between cost reduction and quality of care, this review considers whether the two objectives are contradictory or can be resolved to the benefit of hospitals and health systems overall. Its findings show that no international consensus has yet developed because the impact of quality of care on costs is still difficult to quantify.

France - What role does population aging play in increasing healthcare costs? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This article, published in the French journal Medicine/Science, provides an overview of the economic literature that has sought to isolate and quantify the respective effects of aging and non-demographic determinants on the dynamics of health spending. The authors conclude that changes in morbidity have so far had favourable impacts on healthcare budgets; they state that it is the pattern of aging that will be of most importance to future health expenditures.

New Zealand - Exploring the Links between Quality Improvement Strategies and Organisational Outcomes in Four New Zealand District Health Boards: Final Report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This publication reports on the results of a project initiated by three New Zealand government agencies in 2015 that examined links between quality improvement strategies implemented by New Zealand district health boards (DHBs) and their organizational outcomes. A number of DHBs use quality frameworks and concepts as core elements of their strategies to improve patient outcomes and manage costs.

UK - The health of the nation: averting the demise of universal healthcare This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by a private institute, this report on the future preservation of universal health care in the UK is made up of commentaries by 11 healthcare academics, managers, clinicians, patient representatives and policymakers. Contributions consider funding and costs; health system, services, and hospital organization; workforce issues; decentralization and local government; public health and preventive medicine; and the role of the voluntary sector.

UK - Digital requirements for new primary care models This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Drawing on case studies of new health technology use, this briefing examines how technology can enable primary care in the UK to better solve funding issues, workforce shortages, and demands for improved quality of care. The briefing examines innovations such as shared health records, patient portals for appointment booking, remote consultations and telehealth.

International - Pharmaceutical Expenditure and Policies. Past Trends and Future Challenges This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Across the 34 member countries of the OECD, pharmaceutical spending reached just over $1 trillion Cdn in 2013, accounting for about 20% of total health spending. This paper looks at recent trends in pharmaceutical spending across the OECD and examines drivers of recent spending trends, highlighting differences across therapeutic classes.