Headlines

Australia - More than $185 billion was spent on health goods and services in Australia during 2017–18, according to a new report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
More than $185 billion, or almost $7,500 per person, was spent on health goods and services in Australia during 2018, according to this report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). Out-of-pocket health costs amounted to $1,578 per person. Total health spending came to $126.7 billion, two-thirds of which was funded by government.

Canada - Health spending in Canada reaches $264 billion This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Figures released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) show that the country’s health spending continues to grow and is expected to reach $264 billion in 2019 — a 4% increase over last year. National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2019 shows that Canada continues to make investments in health care. While expenditures vary across the country, health spending is expected to reach $7,068 per Canadian — up from $6,867 in 2018.

Canada - Opioid prescribing practices changing in Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Data released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) shows that about 8% fewer Canadians were prescribed opioids in 2018. The number of people starting opioids fell by 10%, and the number of people taking opioids long-term decreased as well. Initiatives such as guidelines and prescription monitoring, along with increased awareness about opioid harms appear to be influencing prescribing trends.

Europe - New country profiles show changes in environmental health inequalities This hyperlink will open in a new window.
According to national profiles published by the WHO, European countries have recently achieved reductions in environmental health inequalities.  Environmental determinants are a major contributor to health and wellbeing, but are not distributed equally. In most countries across Europe, disadvantaged population groups tend to be significantly more exposed to environmental risks.

UK - Modern screening can be more personalised and convenient to save lives says new report This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A report on screening programs in the UK called for changes in program design to make screening more convenient and timely. In future, screening by the National Health Service (NHS) will also become more personalized, using genetics and other factors to determine the risk people face of developing cancer or other diseases and testing them appropriately.

Events

Belgium - Forward together with innovation: The importance of policy making in the era of personalised medicine This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The European Alliance for Personalised Medicine brings together Europe’s leading healthcare experts and patient advocates to improve patient care by accelerating the development, delivery and uptake of personalised medicine and diagnostics. The conference takes place on December 3 and 4, 2019, in Brussels. Sessions will address Big Data, public health, translational research, reimbursement, and look at agenda items for the next five years.

Canada - Community Health Nursing NOW This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The national community health nursing conference will take place in Vancouver from May 25 to 27, 2020. It brings together practice, research, administration, policy and education perspectives on community health nursing.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - A mixed methods evaluation of an integrated adult mental health service model This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A ‘one-stop’ mental health service hub, the Floresco integrated service model, was established in the state of Queensland to address the fragmentation of community mental health services. In this study evaluating outcomes and service integration, authors conducted 20 staff interviews and reviewed 1,129 client records. They found that Floresco’s model showed potential to improve outcomes and reduce the burden on the state mental health system.

Canada - Improving Access to Family Medicine in Quebec through Quotas and Numerical Targets This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Québec has the highest proportion of residents in Canada without a family doctor. In 2015, the provincial government increased access to family medicine through a patient quota system with penalties for noncompliant physicians. This paper looks at debates around the legislation and its incomplete implementation. It provides a SWOT analysis of the quota approach, based on debate around the legislation. A key controversy arose from the clash between the Ministry's reliance on numbers to design the quota system, and the realties of family practice.

Europe - Sustainable Health Financing with an Ageing Population. Will population ageing lead to uncontrolled health expenditure growth? This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This policy brief looks at the implications of population aging for health spending in Europe. It projects health spending through 2060 due to population aging, and determines aging will not drive health expenditures. The costs of maintaining coverage and access to services for Europe's older people will be manageable over the next 40 years.

Europe - It’s the governance, stupid! TAPIC: a governance framework to strengthen decision making and implementation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This WHO policy brief groups governance concepts and ideas found in the literature into five key domains: transparency, accountability, participation, integrity and capacity (TAPIC). Each of the five domains of the TAPIC framework contains many different techniques for policy and procedural change. Rigorous and context-sensitive analysis is required to work out which domains contain governance problems.

UK - Options for funding the NHS and social care in the UK. How the UK general public would prefer extra funds to be raised This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Examining ways to fund UK health and social care, this RAND Corporation report considers five options (general taxation, a targeted tax, mandatory or voluntary insurance, and user charges) and analyzes a discrete choice experiment conducted with 2,700 members of the public. The experiment's results show a preference for raising additional health and social care funding through progressive taxation with a targeted care tax.

UK - A healthy foundation for the future This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2017, the UK Health Foundation began an inquiry into young people's future health, investigating the health and mental health issues young people currently face. The work of the inquiry was structured around a mixture of research and engagement, site visits and policy work. These are synthesized in this report to present sample views and experiences of young people around the UK.

UK - Using patient experience data to develop a patient experience toolkit to improve hospital care: a mixed-methods study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
To understand how hospital staff learn from patient experience (PE) feedback, this study co-designed a Patient Experience Toolkit with six clinical teams who used the toolkit for 12 months. Team use was highly variable as the toolkit required skilled facilitation to achieve successful outcomes. The authors conclude that the current manner in which PE feedback is collected and used is generally not fit for the purpose of enabling health-care staff to make meaningful local improvements.

USA - Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation’s Health This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2017, the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine assembled an expert committee to examine the potential for integrating social care services into the delivery of health care with the ultimate goal of achieving better and more equitable health outcomes. This report by the committee assesses current and emerging approaches, and recommends ways to expand and optimize social care in healthcare settings.

International - Prioritization approaches in the development of health practice guidelines: a systematic review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Given the resources required to develop practice guidelines, developers prioritize which topics to address. This systematic review of 10 studies identifies prioritization approaches in the development of clinical, public health and health systems guidelines. It describes 10 prioritization approaches in the development of health practice guidelines and establishes a common framework of 20 criteria for prioritizing guideline topics. Two approaches stood out as comprehensive.

International - What makes health systems resilient against infectious disease outbreaks and natural hazards? Results from a scoping review This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak was a wake-up call regarding the critical importance of resilient health systems. This paper reviewed 132 articles from the scholarly and gray literature to identify recurring themes and capacities needed for health system resiliency to infectious disease outbreaks and natural hazards. It distinguishes 16 themes around health system resilience but identifies no implementation frameworks to strengthen capacity in times of crisis.