The OECD/Korea Policy Centre fosters the exchange of technical information and policy experiences relating to the Asia Pacific region in areas such as health statistics, pension reforms and social policy and expenditure.
This new OECD series aims to highlight the latest data in selected countries, to explain their health care systems and to provide key information in a clear and concise way. Each country snapshot highlights the most pertinent issues, be it smoking, obesity, surgical interventions, consumption of antibiotics, physicians density, etc., with the help of key statistics and are followed by brief policy recommendations.
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Although the United Kingdom excels in terms of access to health services, it is a middling performer relative to OECD peers in the domains of health status, risk factors and quality. Investment is required to improve acute care and primary care services, prevent obesity and harmful use of alcohol, and expand coverage of long-term care.
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.
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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.
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.