Luxembourg - The HiT in brief review for Luxembourg reveals some room for efficiency gains This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the WHO, this review of health care in Luxembourg says performance in terms of high life expectancy, low infant mortality, and low out-of-pocket payments is better than the European Union (EU) average. Long lengths of stay combined with low occupancy rates signal possibilities for efficiency gains in the hospital sector.

Switzerland - Next year, insurance premiums will go up 4% on average This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Swiss Confederation announced, on September 24, 2015, that standard premiums for compulsory health insurance would increase in 2016, by between 2.2% and 8.2% depending on the canton. The increase is greater than the average of the last 10 years. Several projects are underway to counter constantly rising spending, focused on doctors, drugs and unnecessary or ineffective treatments.

USA - HHS announces $685 million to support clinicians delivering high quality, patient-centered care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
On September 29, 2015, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced $685 million in awards to equip over 140,000 clinicians with the tools and support to improve quality of care. The new initiative is one of the largest federal investments supporting clinicians and patient-centred care through peer-based, collaborative learning networks.

International - WHO/UNAIDS launch new standards to improve adolescent care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Existing health services often fail the world’s adolescents. The new WHO/UNAIDS standards recommend making services more “adolescent friendly”, providing free or low-cost consultations, and making medically accurate age-appropriate health information available. They also highlight the need for adolescents to be able to access services without necessarily having to make an appointment or requiring parental consent.

International - New partnership to help countries close gaps in primary health care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
On September 26, 2015, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank Group, and the WHO launched a collaboration to strengthen primary health care and advance progress toward Sustainable Development Goals. It will support countries to strengthen monitoring, tracking and sharing of key performance indicators for primary health care.

Upcoming Events

Canada - Centre for Health Services & Policy Research 2016 Conference
The Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at the University of British Columbia is dedicating its 2016 conference to an examination of the main preoccupations raised by its senior faculty member, Dr. Robert Evans. He has spent his career exposing “inconvenient truths” about the impacts of interests, positions and policies in the health realm. The conference will feature speakers addressing some of his lifetime preoccupations. The event will be held on April 5-6, 2016 in Vancouver.

Canada - McGill Primary Care Policy Symposium
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, and in partnership with the Institute for Health and Social Policy, St. Mary's Research Centre, and RUIS McGill, the McGill Department of Family Medicine will be hosting a primary care policy symposium on May 6, 2016, in Montreal. The symposium will engage participants in a discussion on a vision and a roadmap for primary care in Quebec.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Canada - Measuring Up. A yearly report on how Ontario’s health system is performing This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Measuring Up uses the Common Quality Agenda, a set of indicators developed with experts across the province, to see how the quality of care is changing in Ontario — how each local health integration network (LHIN) region is performing, and how the province compares with the rest of Canada and other countries. The report shows that over the past four to 10 years, 13 key performance indicators demonstrate improvement, 20 indicators show no change and two have deteriorated.

Europe - Out-of-pocket payments in healthcare systems in the European Union This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Analyzing the extent to which hospital care in 25 European Union (EU) countries is financed by out-of-pocket payments, this report relies on national and EU data to examine direct payment, cost sharing, and indirect payment schemes. A majority of the countries under study utilize forms of cost sharing, but different hospital financing strategies are also evident.

Europe - Hospitals 2020. Hospitals of the future, healthcare of the future This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Drawing on the June 2015 conference of the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation held in Warsaw, this report on hospital management in 15 European Union (EU) countries discusses innovations in patient care, clinical work, nursing, human resources, information systems, drug management, laboratory operations, finances, quality control and patient involvement. Information on each of the 15 countries is included.

UK - Making time in general practice This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This report summarizes current NHS strategy to reduce bureaucracy and shape demand in general practice. It analyzes a survey of UK general practices to identify where the burden of bureaucracy lies and assesses changes in contracting intended to reduce time spent on bureaucracy. The report includes recommendations for improving the primary-secondary care interface.

UK - Putting integrated care into practice: the North West London experience. Evaluation of the Whole Systems Integrated Care programme This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Whole Systems Integrated Care (WSIC) program in London, England, is an initiative that seeks to improve the quality of integrated care for over two million people in the city's eight North West boroughs. This initial evaluation assesses and provides feedback on the design of the WSIC program, and makes 17 recommendations for future learning.

USA - U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective: Spending, Use of Services, Prices, and Health in 13 Countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Comparing US healthcare spending, supply, utilization, prices, and health outcomes with 13 other high-income countries, this analysis of data from the OECD shows that the US outspends the rest by a large margin. Americans also had the poorest health outcomes, including the shortest life expectancy and a greater prevalence of chronic conditions.

International - The 2015 Quality of Death Index. Ranking palliative care across the world This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The 2015 Quality of Death Index, a measure of the quality of palliative care in 80 countries, shows that income levels are a strong indicator of the availability and quality of palliative care, with wealthy countries clustered at the top. The UK, Australia and New Zealand rank first, second and third, while Canada is in 11th place.

International - Long-term care (LTC) protection for older persons: A review of coverage deficits in 46 countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Published by the International Labour Organization (ILO), this report examines long-term care (LTC) services in 46 developing and developed countries that, together, make up 80% of the world’s population. The report provides data on gaps in access, coverage deficits, and the impact of insufficient funding. It calls for recognizing LTC as a right, and making it a priority in national policy agendas.

International - Health Data Governance. Privacy, Monitoring and Research This hyperlink will open in a new window.
After examining health data governance in the 34 countries of the OECD, this paper identifies key data governance mechanisms to maximize benefits and minimize risks. The mechanisms include coordinated development of high-value, privacy-protective health information systems; legislation that permits privacy-protected data use; accreditation of health data processors; and transparent and fair project approval processes.