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Japan continues to enjoy strong health outcomes and the longest life expectancies in the OECD. Its health spending has risen more quickly than in other OECD countries in recent years, partly due to population ageing. Within tight fiscal constraints, Japan must ensure the financial sustainability of its health system while orienting it toward an increasingly older population.
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The Luxembourg health care system achieves good results relatively efficiently. Luxembourg is, however, lagging behind other OECD countries with high volume of antibiotics prescribed and high rates of avoidable hospital admissions. Population ageing and increasing risk factors are other important challenges that demand further scrutiny.
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The Austrian health system generally provides good access to health care services through a relatively high degree of human and physical resources. However, primary care could be strengthened in order to avoid unnecessary hospitalisations and a stronger focus on mental ill-health is needed. Efforts are also required to prevent the spread of risk factors such as harmful alcohol and tobacco consumption.
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The Estonian health system has relatively high numbers of doctors, hospital beds and medical services, in spite of modest levels of financial resources for health (6% of GDP in 2014). The outcomes are however mixed compared to other OECD countries.
A System of Health Accounts 2011: Revised Edition provides an updated and systematic description of the financial flows related to the consumption of health care goods and services. As demands for information increase and more countries implement and institutionalise health accounts according to the system, the data produced are expected to be more comparable, more detailed and more policy relevant. It builds on the original OECD Manual, published in 2000, and the Guide to Producing National Health Accounts to create a single global framework for producing health expenditure accounts that can help track resource flows from sources to uses. It is the result of a collaborative effort between the OECD, WHO and the European Commission, and sets out in more detail the boundaries, the definitions and the concepts – responding to health care systems around the globe – from the simplest to the more complicated.
The OECD is launching an online consultation: tell us how we can improve sustainable access to innovative therapies!
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The Supplementary Guidance has been released in March 2017. Gathering data on prevention spending that are consistent and comparable, both over time and across countries, is very useful. This paper aims to help clarify what should be included as spending on prevention under SHA 2011 to facilitate accurate comparisons.
In many ways, primary care in Denmark performs well. Danish primary care is trusted and valued by patients, and is relatively inexpensive. But there are important areas where it needs to be strengthened. Most critically, Danish primary care is relatively opaque in terms of the performance data available at local level. Greater transparency is vital in the next phase of reform and sector strengthening. Robust information on quality and outcomes empowers patients and gives them choice. It can support GPs to benchmark themselves, and engage in continuous quality improvement. It also allows the authorities to better understand where they should direct additional resources. This report draws on evidence and best practice from across OECD health systems to support Denmark in: agreeing on the steps that will strengthen its primary care sector, delivering high-quality, patient-centred care, and establishing a sustainable footing as the foundation for a high-performing health system.
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.
The OECD Health Division is releasing a new series to highlight its work on health policies and data. A new graph will be available each month.