Universal Health Coverage is about everyone having access to good quality health services without suffering financial hardship. Although most OECD countries offer all their citizens affordable access to a comprehensive package of health services, they face challenges in sustaining and enhancing such universal systems.
The OECD Health Working Papers series is designed to make available to a wider readership health studies prepared for use within the OECD.
How health providers are paid is one of the key policy levers that countries have to drive health system performance. The 2012 HSC Survey analyses the payment modes currently in use in OECD countries to remunerate primary care, outpatient specialist care and inpatient care, the price regulations for health services and identifies new innovative modes of payments in more detail.
Despite remarkable progress in health status and life expectancy in OECD countries over the past decades, there remain large inequalities not only across countries, but also across population groups within each country. These inequalities in health status are linked to many factors, including differences in exposure to risk factors to health and in access to health care.
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Hungary ranks among the OECD countries with the highest rates of obesity, harmful alcohol use and tobacco smoking. These are leading behavioural risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Hungary has implemented a public health tax and tight policies on alcohol consumption, but alcohol taxation is mild and unrecorded alcohol and tobacco consumption are significant.
Food insecurity and malnutrition are major international concerns, especially in rural areas. At the global scale, they have received considerable attention and investment, but the results achieved so far have been mixed. Some countries have made progress at the national level, but still have many citizens who are food insecure, often concentrated in specific geographic areas. Food insecurity and poverty are highly interlinked and have a strong territorial dimension. To provide effective long-term solutions, policy responses must therefore be tailored to the specific challenges of each territory, taking into account a multidimensional response that includes food availability, access, utilisation and stability. This report highlights five case studies and the OECD New Rural Paradigm, presenting an effective framework for addressing food insecurity and malnutrition.
This paper looks at recent trends in pharmaceutical spending across OECD countries. It examines the drivers of recent spending trends, highlighting differences across therapeutic classes, and then looks at emerging challenges for policy makers in the management of pharmaceutical spending.
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“Mental health issues exact a high price on individuals, their families, employers and the economy,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría, “Policymakers have been too slow to act. Strong political leadership is needed to drive reform and tackle this issue.”
Mental disorders represent a considerable disease burden, and have a significant impact on the lives of the OECD population, and account for considerable direct and indirect costs. This report argues that even in those OECD countries with a long history of deinstitutionalisation, there is still a long way to go to make community-based mental health care that achieves good outcomes for people with severe mental illness a reality.