Headlines

Canada - Framework for a palliative care strategy unveiled This hyperlink will open in a new window.
On April 19, 2018, New Brunswick released its framework for person-centred and integrated palliative care services. An advisory committee, led by the New Brunswick Cancer Network, will be set up to develop an action plan.

Europe - Commission steps up efforts to increase availability and boost healthcare data sharing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
On April 25, the European Commission proposed measures to assure better access to, and reusability of, public sector data. These accompany a General Data Protection Regulation that will come into effect on May 25, 2018. The new measures include the creation of a European Open Science Cloud to improve access to scientific information; fostering cooperation to make better use of health data, including genomic data; and improving the interoperability of electronic health records to enable data to be shared across borders. The proposal will now go to European Parliament.

USA - New Research Shows Increasing Physician Shortages in Both Primary and Specialty Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In a report published on April 11, the Association of American Medical Colleges states that the US could see a shortage of between 42,000 and 121,000 physicians by 2030. These findings persist despite modeling that takes into account the use of other health professions and changes in the delivery of care. Population growth and aging are major factors in the anticipated shortage, notable the aging of physicians: the number of physicians over age 65 will increase by 50% by 2030.

Switzerland – Health spending 2016: A total of 80.7 billion francs This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report by the Federal Statistics Bureau presents provisional data on health expenditure in Switzerland. The 3.8% increase over 2015 expenses is mainly due to higher spending in hospitals, medical-social institutions, medical practices and other ambulatory care providers.

Upcoming Events

Estonia - Health Systems for Prosperity and Solidarity: leaving no one behind
This meeting marks the 10th anniversary of the Tallinn Charter, with a program centred on improving health coverage, access and financial protection for everyone. Presenters will reflect on progress in strengthening health systems in Europe and outline future directions. Organized by WHO Europe and the European Observatory, the meeting takes place June 13 and 14, 2018, in Tallinn, Estonia.

Italy - Quality of care: Improving effectiveness, safety, and responsiveness
The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies Venice Summer School will explore the concept of quality of care, ways to measure and compare quality, and how approaches to quality improvement can be combined into national strategies. The course takes place from July 22 to 28, 2018, in Venice.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Informing implementation of quality improvement in Australian primary care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
While quality improvement initiatives (QI) are difficult to implement in primary care, meso-level structures offer opportunities to implement programs in primary care practices of a given area. This case study looks at the design and implementation of QI programs in the Australian Primary Care Collaborative. It identifies five factors that enable or impede implementation: leadership, organizational culture, funding incentives, data and clinical systems.

Belgium - Payment Methods for Hospital Stays with a Large Variability in the Care Process This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In April 2015, the Minister of Social Affairs and Public Health published a comprehensive plan to reform the Belgian hospital landscape. A central element is the idea to classify hospital stays in three clusters and to apply a different payment system to each of the clusters. This scientific report from KCE reviews international payment models for hospital stays and the feasibility of using them in Belgium.

Canada - Is the Canada Health Act a Barrier to Reform? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Canada Health Act (CHA) prevents provinces from implementing proven health-care reforms that would improve the system and shorten wait times, finds a new study released recently by the Fraser Institute.

Canada - Pharmacare Now: Prescription Medicine Coverage for All Canadians This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report of the Standing Committee on Health, delivered to Parliament in April 2018, presents the conclusions of its study on the development of a national pharmacare program. Following wide consultations, the Committee considers that the best way to move forward in establishing a universal single payer public prescription drug coverage program is by expanding the Canada Health Act to include prescription drugs dispensed outside of hospitals as an insured service under the Act. This approach would reduce costs and promote equity.

Canada - Providers’ Perspectives on the Implementation of Mandated Local Health Networks for Older People in Québec This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The aim of this article is to understand provider perspectives on how and why integrated care for older people has been implemented in different contexts. It looks at three cases in Québec and finds that providers regard government policy and mergers as highly influential in the implementation of organizational integration, but that this occurs to the detriment of clinical integration. 

Europe - Service Integration across Sectors in Europe: Literature and Practice This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This paper presents a preliminary review of service integration across sectors in Europe, between social services, health, employment and education. The review shows that integration may be either tailored to a particular target group or designed for communities in general. Systems to monitor integration are not yet adequately developed and further study is needed to understand the processes involved in cross-sector service integration.

Ireland - Framework for Safe Nurse Staffing and Skill Mix in General and Specialist Medical and Surgical Care Settings in Ireland 2018 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report presents recommendations from the Task force on staffing and skill mix that was mandated, in 2014, to develop a framework, describe the assumptions upon which ranges are determined, and recommend strategies for implementation and monitoring of the framework. The report describes results of a pilot implementation that was evaluated in 2016-17.

UK - Developing new models of care in the PACS vanguards: a new national approach to large-scale change? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The PACS model is an attempt to bring about closer working relationships between GPs, hospitals, community health professionals, and social care. In this report, leaders in the development of the PACS model offer first-hand perspectives on leading the programs. A first key message is that national bodies can support large-scale change in the health and care system by acting as catalysts of locally led innovation.

UK - The Lord Darzi review of health and care: interim report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the NHS in the United Kingdom. This interim report of the Lord Darzi Review of Health presents evidence on system sustainability in preparation for the final report which will be published in the lead up to the anniversary of the NHS and will set out a long term funding and reform plan for health and care. It recognizes that these questions must be faced with honesty and realism in light of projected increases in demand and cost.