Health policies and data

Meeting the Challenge of Ageing and Multiple Morbidities


OECD 50th Anniversary Conference - Paris, 22 June 2011


Sponsored by the OECD and the Business Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) 

When the OECD was founded in 1961, health systems were gearing themselves up to deliver acute care interventions.  Sick people were to be cured in hospitals, then sent on their way again.  Medical training was focused on hospitals; innovation was to develop new interventions; payment systems were centred around single episodes of care.  Health systems have delivered big improvements in health since then.  But they can be slow to adapt to new challenges.  In particular, these days, the overwhelming burden of disease is chronic, for which ‘cure’ is out of our reach.  Health policies have changed to some extent in response, though perhaps not enough.  But the challenge of the future is that the typical recipient of health care will be aged and will have multiple morbidities.  How do payment systems, innovation policies and human resource policies need to be modernised so that OECD health systems will continue to generate improved health outcomes in the future at a sustainable cost?

The Conference

The OECD and the Business Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) hosted a one-day conference to address these issues.  Leading researchers presented their views on where policy needs to go next.  High-level policymakers described how their countries are responding to the challenge.


The Audience


Senior policymakers and business figures from OECD countries attended the conference, along with academics and invited stakeholders.

The Issues

Papers describing the overall challenge of multiple morbidities and particular issues relating to human resource policies, financing and payment policies, and innovation and partnership policies were prepared, and will soon be issued as an OECD publication subsequent to the conference.




The programme, background papers, presentations and speakers biographies are available here.


Publication from the Conference: Health Reform: Meeting the Challenge of Ageing and Multiple Morbidities