Headlines

Australia - Health expenditure Australia 2014–15 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Australia’s government has released a report showing that spending on health in 2014-15 reached $161.6 billion. Although 2.8% higher than spending over 2013-14, the rate of growth is considered relatively low. The share of GDP represented by health also reached 10% for the first time.

Europe - WHO/Europe launches new report on women’s health and well-being in Europe This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The WHO has issued a report on European women’s health and wellbeing that shows the impact of gender-based inequalities interacting with social, economic and environmental determinants. The report focuses on how people-centred health systems can effectively respond to women’s needs throughout the life course.

UK - NHS England launches frameworks to increase integration of health and care services and improve the lives of care home residents This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The National Health Service (NHS) in England has published details of two frameworks for local health and care systems wishing to extend service integration and improve conditions for care home residents. The frameworks include strategies to strengthen primary care, increase access, improve long-term care and control costs.

International - WHO urges global action to curtail consumption and health impacts of sugary drinks This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Taxing sugary drinks can lower consumption and reduce obesity, type 2 diabetes and tooth decay, says a new WHO report. Fiscal policies that lead to at least a 20% increase in the retail price of sugary drinks would result in proportional reductions in consumption of such products, according to the report titled “Fiscal policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs)”.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Health and Healthcare Delivery in Pluralistic Societies
Montreal will host the 2017 World Health Summit on May 8 and 9, 2017, which focuses on human diversity in practice, education, research and policy related to health. Four main topics will be treated: new frontiers in medical treatment, healthcare delivery for specific groups, social and cultural determinants of health, and medical education for optimal healthcare.

Canada – Partnering Towards Exceptional Care, Every Person, Every Day
Horizon Health Network in New Brunswick is holding this conference on November 7 and 8, 2016, in Moncton. The conference will highlight the following themes: Culture of Patient and Family Centred Care Care Experience, Patient Engagement, and Quality and Patient Safety. Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, foundation chair of the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety, will provide the keynote address.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Comprehensive primary health care under neo-liberalism in Australia This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Written by public health scholars, this article analyzes the recent implementation of what it terms neo-liberal driven management reforms to Australian primary healthcare (PHC). Documented changes include less comprehensive service coverage and a downgraded focus on community development, advocacy, inter sectorial collaboration and social determinants. The article calls for the restoration of comprehensive PHC as the best way to improve Australians’ care and health.

Canada - Economic arguments for shifting health dollars upstream This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Researchers have offered evidence that Canada’s health sector could serve citizens better at less cost if more attention was paid to improving living and working conditions across society. This paper analyzes drivers of Canadian health funding and spending while making an economic argument explicitly linking healthcare outcomes and costs with social determinants, structural social power relations, and current government socioeconomic policies.

Europe - Scaling up projects and initiatives for better health: from concepts to practice This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Scaling up means expanding or replicating innovative pilot or small-scale projects to reach more people and broaden an intervention’s effectiveness. Using a literature review and results from a survey of policymakers and experts in 10 European countries, this WHO booklet and toolkit addresses the practical challenges of public and private scaling-up activities within national health systems.

UK - The Spending Challenge: how to cut spending while maintaining quality This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Looking at the immense challenges confronting the UK government’s austerity approach to spending and maintenance of services in the context of “Brexit”, this study draws on public polling to suggest policy priorities.

UK - Integrated primary and acute care systems (PACS) - Describing the care model and the business model This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the National Health Service (NHS) in England, this framework document explains two new care models considered essential to NHS strategy going forward: integrated primary and acute care systems (PACS), and multispecialty community providers (MCPs). Using lessons from PACS and MCP pilot projects, the document supports local health and care systems planning to implement the models and describes benefits to care and decreased costs.

UK - Making difficult decisions. Commissioning healthcare in changing times This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Clinical commissioners have to make difficult decisions on a daily basis that involve balancing needs and wants in healthcare and recognising rights and choices. This publication contextualises the process of prioritising and potentially decommissioning health services, reflect on relevant research and the experience of clinical commissioners, and set out the factors that can enable challenging decisions to be made and seen through.

UK - Improving Efficiency and Resource Allocation in Future Cancer Care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report examines evidence regarding cancer care efficiencies and resource allocation in nine European countries in order to draw lessons for UK oncology services. It provides an overview of the costs of cancer, the health burden and resources devoted to cancer care, and offers case studies of where efficiencies can be made across the NHS system.

USA - What Does a Deductible Do? The Impact of Cost-Sharing on Health Care Prices, Quantities, and Spending Dynamics This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This Harvard paper examines consumer responsiveness to healthcare pricing via a case study of a self-insured firm that switched from a free employee healthcare plan to a high deductible plan that saved the company $100 million per year. The paper uses the case data to examine consumer response to the new high-deductible contract and investigate its impact on healthcare prices, quantity, and spending dynamics.

International - Visibility: The New Value Proposition for Health Systems This hyperlink will open in a new window.
One of the main challenges facing healthcare systems is patient safety: medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in North America. This report from the World Health Innovation Network (WHIN) proposes a new direction to improve patient safety and performance.