Headlines

Australia - Turnbull Government to ease pressure on private health insurance premiums This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australia’s Government has announced that it will reduce the cost of 2,440 medical devices ranging from pacemakers and lenses to prostheses in order to take pressure off private health insurance premiums for Australians. The action will reduce costs for insurers by a total $500 million over the next six years.

Canada - CMA releases platform for new Canadian Health Accord This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In October 2016, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) released its platform for a new national health accord. The platform makes six recommendations: extra funding for seniors; added coverage for expensive medicine; tax credits for family caregivers; a national strategy for end-of-life care; a coordinated home care plan; and investments in long-term care.

Canada - Increasing the Use of Physician Assistants Could Lead to Significant Cost Savings for the Canadian Health Care System This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Hiring more physician assistants (PAs) and effectively integrating them into health care teams could save the Canadian health care system millions in efficiency gains, according to a new report released by The Conference Board of Canada. Canada’s health care system cost Canadians $219 billion in 2015, and hospital, drugs and physician services accounted for 60 per cent of this spending. Physician assistants (PAs) could help lower Canada’s health care spending, by completing more routine tasks and freeing up physicians’ time.

Canada - Province Increasing Access to Primary Care for Ontario Families This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ontario is improving access to primary care by providing $22 million in additional funding for 445 primary care organizations, including community health centres, nurse practitioner-led clinics, family health teams and nursing stations that together serve nearly six million Ontarians. The funding will allow the organizations to better attract and retain healthcare professionals.

Canada - Canadian Cancer Statistics 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) has released Canadian Cancer Statistics 2016, which shows that rates of the country’s most predominate cancers, prostate, breast, and lung cancer, are continuing to increase as Canada’s population grows and ages. This year, an estimated 202,400 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Canada, with an estimated 78,800 deaths.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Public Health 2017
The Canadian Public Health Association conference takes place in Halifax, from June 6 to 8, 2017. The deadline for abstract submissions is November 22, 2016, for symposium/workshop proposals, and November 29 for oral or poster proposals. The conference aims to identify public health challenges and solutions, present current trends, and discuss emerging evidence, policy and practice.

China - 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion (9GCHP)
The World Health Organization and the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China are organizing this conference in Shanghai, from November 21 to 24, 2016. The conference will provide an unprecedented opportunity to reassert the significance of health promotion in improving health and health equity at the historical moment of 30 years anniversary of Ottawa Charter, and the first year of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Comparing Performance of Universal Health Care Countries, 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Canada spends more on health care than almost every other comparable country with universal care finds a new study released by the Fraser Institute. The study compares 28 universal health-care systems in developed countries, spotlighting several key areas including cost, use of resources, access to care and treatment, clinical performance and quality, and the health status of patients.

Canada - Leaving Canada for Medical Care, 2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the Fraser Institute, this briefing estimates that 45,619 Canadians left the country to receive medical treatment in 2015. The largest number was from Ontario (22,352 patients). Almost 4,980 Canadians travelled abroad for urology procedures alone. One explanation for travelling abroad is long wait times in Canada’s healthcare system.

Canada - Quality Reporting in German Hospitals: A Model for Quebec This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Québec’s government is planning to fund hospitals using an activity-based formula rather than historically defined global budgets. This article says this measure should be paired with the kind of mandatory quality reporting that exists in Germany in order to harmonize and publicize Québec’s hospital quality data. Published regularly on the Internet, German quality reports provide comprehensive information on the treatments provided in hospitals.

Canada - A population-based analysis of incentive payments to primary care physicians for the care of patients with complex disease This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2007, British Columbia implemented incentive payments to primary care physicians for the care of patients with chronic conditions. This study examines the program’s impact on access to primary care, hospital admissions, and costs. It finds that the $240-million dollar program increased physician compensation but did not improve access or continuity; neither did it reduce resource use in the healthcare system.

Canada - Measuring Patient Harm in Canadian Hospitals This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A national picture of patient harm in acute care hospitals (outside Quebec) is now available, thanks to a new measure developed by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI). The joint report Measuring Patient Harm in Canadian Hospitals, reveals that in 2014–2015 harm was experienced by patients in 1 of every 18 hospital stays, or 138,000 hospitalizations. Of those, 30,000 (or 1 in 5) involved more than 1 form of harm. The rate (5.6%) has remained stable over the past few years.

UK - New care models. Emerging innovations in governance and organisational form This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Prepared by The King's Fund for the National Health Service (NHS), this report describes two new care models essential to current NHS strategy: integrated primary and acute care systems (PACS), and multispecialty community providers (MCPs). The report identifies fiscal and care benefits.  

UK - Understanding patient flow in hospitals This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Looking at persistent problems with patient flow in UK hospitals, this briefing examines issues around bed availability, including budget cuts, rising numbers of patients with multiple conditions and delayed discharges. It investigates possible solutions and suggests that hospital managers focus on the minority of long-staying patients who account for a majority of bed use.

The Netherlands - Are performance indicators used for hospital quality management: a qualitative interview study amongst health professionals and quality managers in The Netherlands This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In this study, researchers interviewed 72 health professionals and quality managers in 14 acute care hospitals to explore the use of performance indicators for internal quality management activities. Differences in hospital data collection made comparisons of outcomes difficult, but the study suggests that robust data collection software, proactive quality managers and engaged medical specialists are positive factors for performance indicator use in hospital quality management.

USA - Health and Wellness Programs for Hospital Employees: Results from a 2015 American Hospital Association Survey This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The American Hospital Association (AHA) surveyed US hospitals in 2015 to identify current and emerging best practices in health and wellness programs for hospital employees. This report presents results from the survey, showing that almost 87% of hospitals now have employee health and wellness programs, with 31% experiencing participation rates of over 90%.

International - How to do better health reform: a snapshot of change and improvement initiatives in the health systems of 30 countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This article discusses a book entitled "Healthcare Reform, Quality and Safety: Perspectives, Participants, Partnerships and Prospects in 30 Countries" that analyses the impact of reform initiatives on the quality and safety of care in low, middle, and high-income countries. Reforms in less well-off countries include boosting equity, providing infrastructure, and reducing mortality. Richer countries largely focus on developing new information technology systems and innovative funding models.