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The health system in Spain stands out for its impressive life gains during the past decades. Across OECD countries, Spain currently ranks second in terms of life expectancy at birth and at 65 years old, only behind Japan. However, factors such as a high share of out of pocket spending or a relatively low level of health professionals continue to impair higher health system performance.
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Despite financial strains, Portugal has shown a great level of commitment towards improving the quality and efficiency of its health system while maintaining a universal public system. However, although progress has been achieved, certain areas demand further scrutiny such as access to health care services – especially among the most vulnerable population – quality of care, healthier lifestyles and the long-term care system.
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Latvia’s health system broadly delivers effective care to the population within a context of significantly fewer resources compared to most OECD countries. However, there are important challenges to maintain and improve the performance of its health system.
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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.
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.