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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.
In this report we present an assessment of public health strategies designed to tackle behavioural risk factors for chronic diseases that are closely linked with obesity, including aspects of diet and physical inactivity, in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia, and South Africa.
Those in-depth studies of the health system of member countries focus on economic issues. They assess the performance of health systems in a comparative context, identify the main challenges faced by the country health system and put forward policy options to better meet them. Reviews are initiated at the request of the country to be examined and emphasis is placed on specific issues of key policy interest.
Health systems in the United Kingdom have, for many years, made the quality of care a highly visible priority, internationally pioneering many tools and policies to assure and improve the quality of care. A key challenge, however, is to understand why, despite being a global leader in quality monitoring and improvement, the United Kingdom does not consistently demonstrate strong performance on international benchmarks of quality. This report reviews the quality of health care in the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, seeking to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further quality gains in health care. To secure continued quality gains, the four health systems will need to balance top-down approaches to quality management and bottom-up approaches to quality improvement; publish more quality and outcomes data disaggregated by country; and, establish a forum where the key officials and clinical leaders from the four health systems responsible for quality of care can meet on a regular basis to learn from each other’s innovations.
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Italy’s indicators of health system outcomes and quality are consistently good. This is despite levels of health spending below other high-income OECD countries. However, Italy is lagging behind in some areas, like long-term care and prevention of non-communicable diseases.