Health policies and data

Enhancing universal health coverage today

 

Quality, access and affordability are at the heart of reforms to successfully enhance universal health coverage. The OECD monitors and evaluates these key aspects of universal health coverage, and assesses the future sustainability of universal health systems. OECD country experiences can also offer valuable lessons for other countries seeking to attain universal health coverage. 

Enhancing universal health coverage today

Monitoring the quality of health services


Quality is too often a forgotten element of universal health coverage. Yet poor quality and unsafe care harms lives and wastes scarce resources. Monitoring quality is therefore essential. OECD countries have developed the most comprehensive body of knowledge worldwide on measuring the quality of health services.

Access: evaluating which services should be covered


New medical technologies widen the range of treatment options available, but can be expensive. Rather than compromise population coverage or increase cost-sharing, a better approach is to be more specific in defining the treatments covered. Current OECD work assesses how countries determine the range of services included in benefit baskets.

  • The range of benefits covered in OECD countries (coming soon)

Access: ensuring skilled health workers are in place


Health workers play a key role in enabling access to health services. Yet there are wide staffing variations both across and within countries. The OECD has reviewed how countries could improve health workforce planning and innovative provider payment reforms.

 

Affordability: tracking health expenditures


Using health services should not lead to financial hardship. Appropriate health financing policies can mitigate this risk so that cost-sharing is never excessive. The System of Health Accounts provides a transparent framework for tracking health expenditures.

Data

Health-expenditure-share-of-GDP-2015