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.
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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.
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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.
The recently published Second International Report for the Survey of Adults Skills looks in detail at the extent to which proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments matters for the well-being of individuals and nations. The answer that emerges is clear: proficiency is positively linked to a number of important economic and social outcomes.
The European Commission, the OECD and the World Bank are launching this new project to shed light on the barriers that individuals face in getting good-quality jobs.
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Denmark was hit harder by the global financial crisis than its neighbouring countries and the OECD area, but is now slowly recovering. In the first quarter of 2016, the employment rate was still 4.8 percentage points lower than before the GFC with only minor improvement since 2013.
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Despite unprecedented progress over the past century, gender gaps in the labour market persist throughout the world and are especially marked in emerging economies. While the quantity of jobs held by women has increased in many countries, female workers continue to have worse jobs than men.