Health policies and data

Issue No. 17: June 2013


Health Update
June 2013
News about OECD work on health


OECD Health Data 2013

OECD Health Data 2013 was released on 27 June 2013, showing that health expenditure on average across OECD countries stagnated in 2010 and 2011, following strong growth prior to the economic crisis. The OECD health database offers the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries. It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health care systems. Access the press release, country notes, new data visualisation tools, and online datasets at

Strengthening Health Information Infrastructure: Matters for Quality Health Care:
Good Practices, New Opportunities and Data Privacy Protection Challenges

Privacy-respectful uses of data for health, health care quality and health system performance monitoring and research must become widespread, regular activities. This report examines the progress OECD countries have made in developing and linking health and health care data for statistics and research, including the use of data from electronic health record systems. It signals differences among countries, as well as the opportunities that exist in all countries to continue to strengthen their infrastructure. 
A Good Life in Old Age? Monitoring and Improving Quality in Long-Term Care

As ageing societies are pushing a growing number of frail old people into needing care, delivering quality long-term care services has become a priority for governments. Yet much still remains to be done to enhance evidence-based measurement and improve the quality of long-term care services across EU and OECD countries. This book, a joint production by OECD and the EC, offers evidence and examples of experiences to help policy makers, providers and experts measure and improve the quality of long-term care services.

See the press release
Click to see the website of the European Commission
OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality - Denmark

This review of health care quality in Denmark examines policies related to quality and includes chapters covering primary and integrated care, hospital specialisation and equity. It finds that with a dense array of disease- and service-focused quality initiatives, and with information on the quality of care stored in separate data repositories, Denmark needs to create effective links and synergies in order to drive up quality in the healthcare system as a whole, rather than in disconnected elements.


OECD Health Working Paper No. 62 - Health Workforce Planning in OECD Countries: A review of 26 projection models from 18 countries

In a context of tight budget constraints, appropriate health workforce planning is more important than ever to guide policy decisions on entry into medical and nursing education programmes and to assess the impact of a re-organisation in health service delivery to better respond to changing health care needs. This working paper reviews the main characteristics and results from 26 health workforce projection models in 18 OECD countries. It identifies some innovative features on the supply side and the demand side of some of these models, which often result in a different assessment of projected future requirements of doctors and nurses.

Click to view the paper

OECD Health Working Paper No. 63 - Pharmaceuticals: Paying for Value?
(Forthcoming - mid July)

The study describes how 14 OECD Member Countries refer to value when making decisions on reimbursement and prices of new medicines. It details the methods countries use to assess the therapeutic benefits of new products, as well as approaches used for economic evaluation where relevant. It describes how countries consider innovation, wider social benefits, severity or rarity of disease in their decisions, as well as the use of product-specific agreements.

For the full list of Health Working Papers:
New Director at the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

Following the retirement of Mr. John Martin, Mr. Stefano Scarpetta, an Italian national who started his career at the OECD in 1991, has been appointed Director of the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, in May 2013. Mr. Scarpetta will support the Secretary-General’s strategic orientations in a broad range of policy areas, notably Employment, Labour, Migration, Health, Skills, Gender and tackling Inequalities.

OECD Health Working Papers - coming soon 

- Trends and Social Disparities in Alcohol Consumption

- The Use of Fiscal Policies for Health Promotion

- For a full list of OECD Health Working Papers see:

Publications coming soon

- OECD Reviews of Health Care Quality: Turkey (July 2013) and Sweden (September 2013). Further reading on quality reviews:

- Cancer Care: Assuring Quality to Improve Survival. Further reading on:


See also the Employment, Migration and Social Policy Newsletter


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