Headlines

Canada - Canadians seeking more federal innovation to improve health care system This hyperlink will open in a new window.
A survey on health innovation conducted for the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) shows that provincial governments are viewed as more effective drivers of innovation than the federal government. While 68% of Canadians feel the provinces are doing the most to support innovative health care, a majority of respondents also wanted more federal action.

Canada - New Wait Times Data Now Available for Surgeries and Procedures Across Ontario This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Ontario has launched an online tool to help people find wait times information for surgeries and procedures at the province’s hospitals. Available at www.ontario.ca/health, the easy-to-use tool includes the length of time between referrals and specialist appointments, as well as providing the date a procedure is due to be performed.

New Zealand - New mental health care initiatives This hyperlink will open in a new window.
New Zealand has announced new mental health initiatives that take a social investment approach to preventing and responding to mental disorders. Looking at lifestyle factors that affect mental wellbeing, the initiatives cover distance and electronic therapy, support in schools and support for people experiencing acute mental health needs. Five government agencies are involved.

UK - NHS hospitals to be assessed on how they use their resources from the autumn This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Starting in fall 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) will begin reviewing how effectively NHS hospitals are using their resources to provide high quality, efficient and sustainable care. As well as hospital finances, the new measure will look at workforce and facilities. Reports with recommendations for improvement will be produced if required.

USA - Health Care Quality Continues to Improve, But Disparities Persist This hyperlink will open in a new window.
According to a new report, the quality of American health care has improved steadily since 2000, with notable gains occurring in patient safety. However, disparities in care have not improved. Hospital visits for mental health care, for example, have increased among the poor — from 1,400 per 100,000 in 2007 to 2,000 per 100,000 in 2014.

Upcoming Events

Germany - 6th European Conference on Mental Health
This conference takes place from October 4 to 6, 2017, in Berlin. Keynote addresses will explore the understanding of mental disorders, loneliness, the prevention of depressive disorders, and reduced life expectancy in psychiatric patients. Oral sessions will be presented in concurrent streams.

Sweden - Sustaining resilient and healthy communities
The European Public Health Conference offers a means for exchanging information and a platform for debate to researchers, policy makers, and practitioners in the field of public health and health services research. Presentations touch on a broad range of subjects, including health promotion and disease prevention, management of chronic diseases, and system design and innovation. The conference takes place in Stockholm from November 1 to 4, 2017.

Reports and Issue Portfolios

Australia - Equitable resourcing of primary health care in remote communities in Australia’s Northern Territory: a pilot study This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study in Australia’s remote Northern Territory sought to identify factors that help to ensure equitable access to high quality primary health care (PHC) even in geographically isolated areas. A direct linear relationship was observed between the total cost of PHC services and population, while cost per capita decreased with increasing population. The findings provide evidence based on real costs to guide funding for remote PHC services.

Canada - Costs of health care across primary care models in Ontario This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study examines the relationship between new primary care models in Ontario and the costs of primary care and total health care. It focuses on payment mechanisms for primary care physicians (fee-for-service [FFS] and blended capitation), and finds that new primary care models are associated with lower total healthcare costs compared to the traditional FFS model, despite higher primary care costs in some models.

Canada - Advancing team-based primary health care: a comparative analysis of policies in western Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study compares primary health care (PHC) policies in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to see how they inform the design and implementation of team-based PHC service delivery. The concept of team-based PHC varies widely across and within the three provinces. The study noted policy gaps related to team configuration, leadership, scope of practice, role clarity and financing of team-based care.

Canada - Canada should not allow two-tiered practicing for medically-necessary services This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Comparing Canada with European nations that operate two-tiered health systems with both public and private care, this paper argues that Canada should not allow a two-tiered approach to medically necessary services. It says doing so will weaken healthcare outcomes in the public system as practitioners migrate to the private sector, leaving publicly-funded services with longer wait times and reduced quality.

Europe - Strengthening general practice/family medicine in Europe—advice from professionals from 30 European countries This hyperlink will open in a new window.
This study is based on a survey of medical teaching professionals from 30 European countries on how to strengthen general practice and family medicine (GP/FM). It finds substantial variations among GPs/FMs across Europe with regards to governance, workforce competence and performance, and academic standing. Respondents strongly agree that securing GP/FM as an academic teaching and research discipline is essential, as is cementing GP/FM’s position as a highly regarded specialty.

UK - Transforming Health: Shifting our health systems from illness treatment and prevention to health creation This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The authors of this article call for a fundamental change in our understanding of health by shifting the focus to health creation in systems at the community level that create health instead of merely mitigating illness. The article cites existing UK examples of this approach, and explains what needs to be done to reduce health inequalities by fostering community agency.

UK - Do expanded seven-day NHS services improve clinical outcomes? Analysis of comparative institutional performance from the “NHS Services, Seven Days a Week” project 2013–2016 This hyperlink will open in a new window.
In 2013, the Seven Days a Week Project was initiated to expand full access to the National Health Service (NHS) on weekends. This study analyzes these changes, finding that the adverse clinical outcomes associated with weekends may not be improved by the reorganization. In fact, unless there is additional financial investment, such changes may negatively impact care quality, as seen by the worsening of some outcomes.

UK - Primary Care Home. Evaluating a new model of primary care This hyperlink will open in a new window.
The Primary Care Home (PCH) program was designed to integrate general practice into the wider healthcare workforce. Based on three core characteristics (personalized care, service partnerships, and aligned drivers), PCH has been tested at 15 sites since 2015. This program evaluation has three main aims: to understand how the test sites are building PCH; to advise on promising approaches; and to share learning across sites.

International - Centers of excellence in healthcare institutions: what they are and how to assemble them This hyperlink will open in a new window.
Centres of excellence — specialized programs within healthcare institutions that supply concentrations of expertise and resources centred on particular medical areas — afford many advantages for healthcare providers and the populations they serve. This article presents insights from the US Willis-Knighton Health System’s experience operating centres of excellence and offers guidance to healthcare establishments wishing to replicate successful processes in their own programs.