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In Germany, there are two main categories of nurses, first level and second level. A majority of first level nurses are trained through a 3-year vocational training programme involving hospital-based training, and these nurses can go on to pursue further education and training to specialise within the hospital setting.
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To become a doctor in the UK, on average, a student can expect between 10 to 15 years of university education and post-graduate training.
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In France, there is only one main category of nurses. Following the 2009 reform, nursing education has moved from vocational programmes to higher education (university) programmes, with a requirement for nurses to obtain a Bachelor degree to align these educational requirements with other European countries.
Mental disorders account for one of the largest and fastest growing categories of the burden of disease with which health systems must cope, often accounting for a greater burden than cardiovascular disease and cancer.
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Belgium shows average health outcomes compared to other OECD countries. Life expectancy at birth is 80.7 years, just above the OECD average. Quality of care is fair, standing again near the OECD average. Health expenditure at 10.2% of GDP is higher than the OECD average of 1.3% points in 2013. Health policy in Belgium relies on shared responsibility of both the federal authorities and federated entities (regions and communities).
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Although many health indicators are improving in Mexico, the country has the lowest life expectancy in the OECD. This is due to unhealthy lifestyles with higher risk factors to health leading to chronic diseases and mortality, but also to persisting barriers of access to high-quality health care services.
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Despite achieving near universal health coverage with a basic benefit package that all health payers must provide, health financing in Chile remains inefficient and inequitable. There is room for improving the system by moving towards a unified, equitable social security system for the entire population.
OECD governments have to decide whether they want to cover more services at a limited reimbursement rate, or whether they want to extend more the financial protection for a limited number of services.
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Although Ireland has seen remarkable improvements in the health of its population in the last decades, several challenges lie ahead for its health system. Based on available OECD analyses, further progress could be made to promote efficient use of hospital resources, strengthen primary care, address high pharmaceutical spending and prevent the spread of risk factors including obesity and alcohol consumption.
OECD Health Care Quality Reviews seek to examine what works and what does not work in different countries – both to benchmark the efforts of countries and to provide advice on reforms to improve their health system.