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Over the last few decades, mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) has dropped faster than mortality from other causes. Despite this great success, prospects for making further progress are threatened by rising levels of obesity and diabetes and the lack of adherence to recommended treatments.
Rising levels of obesity and diabetes around the world could halt a trend of decreasing mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes and heart attacks, and even cause rates to start rising again, particularly among younger people, according to a new OECD report.
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The health care system in Slovenia is in urgent need of reform. Rising costs and the economic downturn following the global financial crisis have resulted in the emergence of severe financial constraints.
All on Board: Making Inclusive Growth Happen puts forth a new approach to economic growth that goes beyond traditional monetary indicators and includes dimensions that reflect people's well-being. It introduces an analytical framework to assess economic growth based on a measurement of multidimensional living standards. The report also presents win-win policies that can deliver stronger growth and greater inclusiveness in areas such as: macroeconomic policies, labour market policies, education and skills, infrastructure and public services and development and urban policies. It underscores the need to assess and weigh trade-offs and complementarities between and among policies, and the crucial role of good governance in implementing an Inclusive Growth agenda.
The Portuguese National Health Service has responded well to financial pressure, successfully balancing the twin priorities of financial consolidation and continuous quality improvement, according to a new OECD report.
This report reviews the quality of health care in Portugal, seeks to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further improvements to quality of care. The Portuguese National Health Service has responded well to financial pressure, successfully balancing the twin priorities of financial consolidation and continuous quality improvement. Even in the post-crisis years when GDP fell and health spending declined, improvements in quality of care continued. The need to reduce health spending has been met through a combination of structural reforms, and a well-designed suite of quality initiatives. Reforms around the purchasing and use of pharmaceuticals and medical devices have helped drive down costs, and Portugal has been innovative in how public funds are used to pay providers, increasingly basing payments on quality and efficiency. Important priorities for further work in the Portuguese health system do remain. Portugal will need to improve clinical processes and pathways, particularly in the acute sector. There is still room to improve efficiency, for instance increasing the share of generic drug consumption, and using the Portuguese health workforce more effectively, especially through expanded roles for nurses. Further structural reform is needed with an emphasis on shifting care out of hospitals into less-expensive community settings, and Portugal will also need to reflect on the strategic direction of the primary care system which, following an impressive reform, now risks developing into a two-tiered system with increasingly divergent levels of care quality.
Alcoholic beverages, and their harmful use, have been familiar fixtures in human societies since the beginning of recorded history. Worldwide, alcohol is a leading cause of ill health and premature mortality. It accounts for 1 in 17 deaths, and for a significant proportion of disabilities, especially in men. In OECD countries, alcohol consumption is about twice the world average. Its social costs are estimated in excess of 1% of GDP in high- and middle-income countries. When it is not the result of addiction, alcohol use is an individual choice, driven by social norms, with strong cultural connotations. This is reflected in unique patterns of social disparity in drinking, showing the well-to-do in some cases more prone to hazardous use of alcohol, and a polarisation of problem-drinking at the two ends of the social spectrum. Certain patterns of drinking have social impacts, which provide a strong economic rationale for governments to influence the use of alcohol through policies aimed at curbing harms, including those occurring to people other than drinkers. Some policy approaches are more effective and efficient than others, depending on their ability to trigger changes in social norms, and on how well they can target the groups that are most at risk. This book provides a detailed examination of trends and social disparities in alcohol consumption. It offers a wide-ranging assessment of the health, social and economic impacts of key policy options for tackling alcohol-related harms in three OECD countries (Canada, the Czech Republic and Germany), extracting relevant policy messages for a broader set of countries.
Harmful drinking is on the rise among young people and women in many OECD countries, partly due to alcohol becoming more available, more affordable and more effectively advertised, according to a new OECD report.
OECD insights blog: Francesca Colombo, Head of the OECD Health Division, discusses the issues related to health systems and an ageing population.
The OECD launched a project on “Benchmarking ICTs in health systems”, a multi-stakeholder initiative to improve the availability and quality of health ICT data through the development of a robust measurement framework and comparable cross-national measures. This task was accomplished in 2013 with the publication of an OECD “Guide to Measuring ICTs in the Health Sector”.