Australia - Hospital admissions growing steadily, more Australians going private in hospitals This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The number of hospital admissions is growing in Australia (up 3.5% per year), and more Australians are using private health insurance. In 2016, 14% of 10.6 million public hospital admissions were covered by private insurance, a 5.5% increase over 2010 rates. Growth in private hospital admissions was slightly ahead of public hospital admissions over the same period.

Canada - Evidence highlights danger of cutting RNs in Ontario This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) has launched an online database collecting 70 years of research into nurse effectiveness. Over 95% of the 626 studies in the new database show that registered nurses (RNs) have a positive impact on health outcomes.

Canada - Ontario Passes Legislation on Medical Assistance in Dying This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The province of Ontario passed legislation on May 9, 2017 that will support the implementation of medical assistance in dying in the province. The law provides more protection and clarity for patients, families, healthcare providers and institutions. The new act aligns with federal legislation and will address areas that fall under provincial jurisdiction.

Finland - Government proposes to increase freedom of choice in health and social services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Finland’s parliament is considering legislation to increase patient freedom of choice as part of health, social services and local government reform. In obtaining publicly funded health and social services, patients would be able to choose between government, private and non-profit providers. Fees would be the same across service providers.

International - World Health Statistics 2017 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the WHO, the annual World Health Statistics series compiles data from 194 countries on 35 indicators of health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The 2017 edition includes data on life expectancy and success stories from countries making progress towards health-related SDG targets.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Healthy Canada Conference 2018: Personalized Health and Wellness
The concept of precision or personalized medicine is increasingly becoming a reality. Big data analytics offers the opportunity to better understand individual and community-level characteristics, preferences, and needs. Organized by the Conference Board of Canada, this conference will explore how health care providers, organizations, governments, and the health technologies industry can use this data to produce better products and programs. The conference will take place in May 2018, in Toronto. Stay tuned for the exact date.

Czech Republic - Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health
The ministerial conferences of the European Environment and Health Process provide a unique intersectoral policy platform bringing together relevant sectors and partners to shape policies and actions on environment and health, support the implementation of effective evidence-based policies and advance actions on environment, health and well-being in the WHO European Region. The event will take place on Ostrava, Czech Republic, on June 13–15, 2017.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - A Road Map to Health System Sustainability This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Canadian Alliance for Sustainable Health Care (CASHC) was created to address the widening sustainability gap between government budgets and Canada’s healthcare spending through informed dialogue and consensus for reform and action. This report summarizes the activities and contributions of CASHC in its first mandate, and outlines the framework within which CASHC will function in the coming years.

Canada - Ideas on health care for Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report describes the results of a project that included constructive discussions about the future of the health and social services system in Quebec. Focus groups, expert consultations and the public highlighted areas of consensus. Among the most important, both citizens and network actors want to reverse current dynamics and put citizens and local actors in charge of their health choices.

Canada - The Private Cost of Public Queues for Medically Necessary Care, 2017 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study by the Fraser Institute calculates the privately borne costs of waiting times for medically necessary treatments, defined as the value of time lost while waiting for treatment. Valuing hours lost during the workweek, the estimated cost of waiting for care in Canada in 2016 was more than $1.7 billion — an average $1,759 for each of the 973,505 Canadians waiting for treatment that year.

Canada - Alignment of Canadian Primary Care With the Patient Medical Home Model: A QUALICO-PC Study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The patient-centred medical home (PCMH) approach emphasizes integrated care, relationships with a regular physician, holistic self-care and a focus on quality, safety, and access. This paper compares current primary care across Canada with the goals of the PMH model. After surveying 1,172 patients and 772 primary care practices in 10 provinces, the paper found little evidence of consistent implementation of PCMH goals.

Europe - Urban green space interventions and health: A review of impacts and effectiveness. Full report (2017) This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the WHO, this report on interventions to establish urban green spaces summarizes evidence of their health benefits, particularly for individuals of lower socioeconomic status. The report evaluates health-relevant indicators of urban green space and concludes that interventions are most effective when coupled with a promotional social engagement/participation element to reach target groups.

UK - Leading across the health and care system: lessons from experience This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This article conceptualizes system leadership during the ongoing reorganization and decentralization of health and social services in the UK, providing case studies of collaborative leadership at the local government level. It emphasizes new care models, sustainability planning, and measures to assure local accountable care in the face of national funding cutbacks.

UK - Mental health and new models of care: lessons from the vanguards This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report for the UK's National Health Service (NHS) explores an integrated response to mental health in the context of new models of care. It focuses on lessons from 50 integrated mental health pilot projects known as vanguard sites, and incorporates scoping interviews with 22 vanguard leaders, as well as summaries of expert workshops and roundtables. Profiles of three vanguard case study sites are included.

UK - Reward in the NHS: good practice and innovation taking place across the NHS on reward This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2016, the National Health Service (NHS) Employers Total Reward Engagement Network (TREN) carried out a survey across the NHS that found a variety of organizational reward practices but no consistent NHS reward strategy. This report views key themes that have emerged through TREN and explores recent changes in NHS approaches to reward. It includes quotes from TREN members and examples of reward practices.

International - How do taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages affect health and health care costs? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is intended to reduce sugar intake, improve individual health and reduce healthcare costs. This review looking at the effectiveness of the approach finds no evidence directly linking taxes on SSBs to reductions in healthcare costs, despite positive results from modelling simulations. Numerous systematic reviews indicate associations between SSB consumption and unhealthy weight gains at all ages.