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This article published in The Lancet highlights the fact that the obesity epidemic is spreading to low-income and middle-income countries as a result of new dietary habits and sedentary ways of life, fuelling chronic diseases and premature mortality.
This publication examines current efforts to improve health care efficiency, including tools that show promise in helping health systems provide the best care for their money.
Are breast cancer survival rates higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom and France? Are a patient's chances of dying within 30 days after admission to a hospital with a heart attack lower in Canada than in Korea? Are surgeons in some countries more likely to leave “foreign bodies” behind after operations or make accidental punctures or lacerations rates when performing surgery? The need for answers to these kinds of questions and the value of measuring the quality of health care are among the issues addressed in this publication.
Many health policies depend on our ability to measure the quality of care accurately. Governments want to increase “patient-centeredness”, improve co-ordination of care, and pay providers of high-quality care more than those who underperform. However, measuring the quality of health care is challenging. The OECD’s Health Care Quality Indicator project has overcome some of the problems, though many remain. If policy makers are serious about improving the body of evidence on the quality of care, they need to improve their health information systems. This publication describes what international comparable quality measures are currently available and how to link these measures to quality policies such as accreditation, practice guidelines, pay-for-performance, national safety programmes and quality reporting.
With austerity the order of the day in most OECD countries, the public is understandably anxious that budget cuts do as little harm as possible to the services they depend on. Few sectors capture the dilemmas this poses for policymakers quite like healthcare.
Health ministers from OECD countries met in Paris to discuss how to meet urgent short-term fiscal concerns without sacrificing the quality and availability of health care, either now or in the future.
Before 1980, rates were generally well below 10%. They have since doubled or tripled in many countries, and in almost half of the OECD, 50% or more of the population is overweight. A key risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, obesity is a major public health concern.
This book contributes to evidence-based policy making by exploring multiple dimensions of the obesity problem. It examines the scale and characteristics of the epidemic, the respective roles and influence of market forces and governments, and the impact of interventions. It outlines an economic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases that provides novel insights relative to a more traditional public health approach.
The analysis was undertaken by the OECD, partly in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The main chapters are complemented by special contributions from health and obesity experts, including Marc Suhrcke, Tim Lobstein, Donald Kenkel and Francesco Branca.
“a valuable set of results and suggestions about the best preventive interventions to reduce the burden of obesity.” – Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard School of Public Health
“The positive message of this book is that the obesity epidemic can be successfully addressed.” – Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization
“innovative and well-researched” – Martin McKee, Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
"A timely, valuable volume on a critical issue. Highly recommended."-Choice, July 2011
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Obesity is a major health concern for OECD countries. Using a wide range of individual-level and population data from OECD countries, this book presents analyses of trends in obesity, explores the complex causal factors affecting the epidemic and develops an assessment of the impacts interventions to combat the problem.
Health services account for a large and increasing share of production and expenditure in OECD countries but there are also noticeable differences between countries in expenditure per capita. Whether such differences are due to more services consumed in some countries than in others or whether they reflect differences in the price of services is a question of significant policy relevance. Yet, cross-country comparisons of the price of
The ratio of health expenditure to GDP, which in macroeconomic terms is an indicator which summarises the financing needs of a national health system, is likely to rise in countries for which the GDP falls. This paper reviews the possible implications of the recessions for this ratio.
In 2008, the OECD launched a survey to collect information on the health systems characteristics of member countries. This paper presents the informaton provided by 29 of these countries in 2009.