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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.
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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.
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.
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.
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The French health care system performs relatively well. Health outcomes are better than the OECD average and citizens enjoy good access to care. However, France is lagging behind other OECD countries in some areas including for example antibiotics prescribing or alcohol consumption.
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Finland appears to have a high performing health system, with remarkable good quality in both primary and hospital care. The country also achieves good health status at relatively low level of health spending. Despite these advances, there are specific areas where improvements can be made such as preventing the spread of obesity and addressing gaps in mental health.
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The growth rate in health spending per capita in Canada has slowed down markedly in recent years, being close to zero in real terms since 2011. Life expectancy in Canada is one year higher than the OECD average, but rising alcohol consumption and obesity rates are growing risk factors to health. Canada could further improve the quality of care in order to cope better with rising prevalence of chronic diseases.