Micro-organisms play a fundamental role in the environment. Yet their role is the result of complex biogeochemical processes by consortia of micro-organisms and the function of individual species is not clear in many cases.
This publication provides an overview of the current situation and relevant developments in environmental microbiology, as well as its potential application, which covers: use of micro-organisms for agriculture, production purposes, bioremediation, and cleaning purpose; environmental applications of microbial symbionts of insects; and environmental risk/safety assessment of the deliberate release of engineered micro-organisms.
This report reviews the quality of health care in Italy, seeks to highlight best practices, and provides a series of targeted assessments and recommendations for further improvements to quality of care. Italy’s indicators of health system outcomes, quality and efficiency are uniformly impressive. Life expectancy is the fifth highest in the OECD. Avoidable admission rates are amongst the very best in the OECD, and case-fatality after stroke or heart attack are also well below OECD averages. These figures, however, mask profound regional differences. Five times as many children in Sicily are admitted to hospital with an asthma attack than in Tuscany, for example. Despite this, quality improvement and service redesign have taken a back-seat as the fiscal crisis has hit. Fiscal consolidation has become an over-riding priority, even as health needs rapidly evolve. Italy must urgently prioritise quality of its health care services alongside fiscal sustainability. Regional differences must be lessened, in part by giving central authorities a greater role in supporting regional monitoring of local performance. Proactive, coordinated care for people with complex needs must be delivered by a strengthened primary care sector. Fundamental to each of these steps will be ensuring that the knowledge and skills of the health care workforce are best matched to needs.
Italy has significantly improved the quality of health care in recent decades but needs to tackle the wide disparities that remain between regions, according to a new OECD report.
Children can be more vulnerable than adults to chemicals. Considering global concern for children’s health, the OECD has been working to bring together knowledge and experiences to reduce risks to children’s health from chemicals.
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Poland has narrowed the gap in life expectancy with other EU countries over the past two decades, thanks mainly to reductions in mortality in cardiovascular diseases; still further progress in life expectancy could be achieved by further reductions in risk factors and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
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Progress has been made to reduce smoking rates and alcohol consumption in Germany, but obesity is on the rise as in most other EU countries. As in other EU countries, spending for prevention in Germany accounts only for around 3% of current health spending.
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Despite cuts in recent years, health spending as a share of GDP in Ireland remains slightly higher than the EU average and pharmaceutical spending in particular remains relatively high.
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Le poids des dépenses hospitalières dans les dépenses de santé s’avère très élevé en France malgré des efforts pour développer des modes de prise en charge moins coûteux.
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Excellent population health status and good outcomes associated with acute care reflect a high-performing health system in Norway. Norway’s good health system comes at a cost – Norway’s per capita health expenditure is the highest in Europe.
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Italy's indicators of health status and quality of care remain among the best in the EU. Italy spent 9.2% of its GDP on health in 2012, slightly more than the EU average of 8.7%.