There is a rising concern in OECD countries about the expected growth in the burden of chronic diseases. This project is primarily focused on whether efforts should be made to prevent non-communicable diseases rather than treating and managing them.
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Sweden has a healthy population and its health system is high-performing in many areas. A combination of relatively generous public funding and reforms focusing on quality measurement, competition and choice has produced good outcomes, especially in the hospital sector.
OECD and the European Observatory on Heath Systems and Policies joined forces to conduct a study on the economics of public health and health promotion.
Over the past decade, many OECD countries have introduced new policies to tackle excessive waiting times for elective treatments with some success. However, in the wake of the recent economic downturn and severe pressures on public budgets, waiting times may rise again, and it is important to understand which policies work.
The latest OECD news on health, focusing on the releases of "Better Ways to Pay for Health Care", of the online database "OECD Health Statistics 2016", and of the latest Health Working Papers, as well as the OECD Health Division involvement in the latest international events.
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Despite financial strains, Portugal has shown a great level of commitment towards improving the quality and efficiency of its health system while maintaining a universal public system. However, although progress has been achieved, certain areas demand further scrutiny such as access to health care services – especially among the most vulnerable population – quality of care, healthier lifestyles and the long-term care system.
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Skill requirements are changing rapidly as a result of structural shifts. Workforce employability is essential to turn structural change into an opportunity for all. Education and training systems, labour markets, workers and workplaces will have to become more adaptable. A set of concrete actionable measures is proposed to improve the employability of each economy’s workforce.
Latest estimates point to slowly rising health spending growth, according to OECD Health Statistics 2016. While health spending growth remains somewhat below pre-crisis rates, it has tended to follow economic growth more closely since 2013. This is in contrast to the years leading up to the economic crisis, when growth in health spending strongly outpaced that in the rest of the economy.
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The German health system is characterised by high levels of human and physical resources guaranteeing good access to care with a low direct financial burden for patients. Nevertheless, the changing demographic situation with a rapidly ageing society creating new demand for health services will pose a challenge for Germany’s health system.
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The labour market recovery in the Netherlands is lagging behind. As of the last quarter of 2015, the unemployment rate stood at 6.7%, just one percentage point lower than its cyclical peak and three percentage points higher from its level at the start of the global financial crisis. As a result of the sluggish recovery, the unemployment rate in the Netherlands is now slightly higher than that for the OECD as a whole.