Too many workers leave the labour market permanently due to health problems or disability, and too few people with reduced work capacity manage to remain in employment. This is a social and economic tragedy common to virtually all OECD countries. It also raises an apparent paradox that needs explaining: Why is it that the average health status is improving, yet large numbers of people of working age are leaving the workforce to rely on long-term sickness and disability benefits?
This report, the last in the OECD series Sickness, Disability and Work: Breaking the Barriers, synthesises the project’s findings and explores the possible factors behind the paradox described above. It highlights the roles of institutions and policies and concludes that higher expectations and better incentives for the main actors – workers, employers, doctors, public agencies and service providers – are crucial. Based on a review of good and bad practices across OECD countries, this report suggests a series of major reforms are needed to promote employment of people with health problems.
The report examines a number of critical policy choices between: tightening inflows and raising outflows from disability benefit, and promoting job retention and new hiring of people with health problems. It questions the need for distinguishing unemployment and disability as two distinct contingencies, emphasises the need for a better evidence base, and underlines the challenges for policy implementation.
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This article published in The Lancet highlights the fact that the obesity epidemic is spreading to low-income and middle-income countries as a result of new dietary habits and sedentary ways of life, fuelling chronic diseases and premature mortality.
As a follow up to the Outlook on Industrial Biotechnology Workshop organised in January 2010, a workshop entitled “Building an Efficient Bio-Based Economy through Industrial Biotechnology” was held in St Petersburg.
For many of today’s new biomedical innovations, the distinctions between different forms of medical products such as drugs, diagnostics and devices no longer apply. Biomedicine also tends to realize its potential today through process innovation, even more than product innovation.
Driving while impaired by drugs – whether licit or illicit – has emerged as an important road safety issue. This report provides a state-of-the-art review of the role and impact of drugs in road accident risk. It reviews the legislation, deterrence and roadside detection practices in member countries as well as preventative measures to combat drug use while driving. It provides recommendations on strategies to adopt in addressing this issue, with a view to contributing to a safe system approach and saving further lives on the roads.
This publication examines current efforts to improve health care efficiency, including tools that show promise in helping health systems provide the best care for their money.
Are breast cancer survival rates higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom and France? Are a patient's chances of dying within 30 days after admission to a hospital with a heart attack lower in Canada than in Korea? Are surgeons in some countries more likely to leave “foreign bodies” behind after operations or make accidental punctures or lacerations rates when performing surgery? The need for answers to these kinds of questions and the value of measuring the quality of health care are among the issues addressed in this publication.
Many health policies depend on our ability to measure the quality of care accurately. Governments want to increase “patient-centeredness”, improve co-ordination of care, and pay providers of high-quality care more than those who underperform. However, measuring the quality of health care is challenging. The OECD’s Health Care Quality Indicator project has overcome some of the problems, though many remain. If policy makers are serious about improving the body of evidence on the quality of care, they need to improve their health information systems. This publication describes what international comparable quality measures are currently available and how to link these measures to quality policies such as accreditation, practice guidelines, pay-for-performance, national safety programmes and quality reporting.
With austerity the order of the day in most OECD countries, the public is understandably anxious that budget cuts do as little harm as possible to the services they depend on. Few sectors capture the dilemmas this poses for policymakers quite like healthcare.
Health ministers from OECD countries met in Paris to discuss how to meet urgent short-term fiscal concerns without sacrificing the quality and availability of health care, either now or in the future.
Before 1980, rates were generally well below 10%. They have since doubled or tripled in many countries, and in almost half of the OECD, 50% or more of the population is overweight. A key risk factor for numerous chronic diseases, obesity is a major public health concern.
This book contributes to evidence-based policy making by exploring multiple dimensions of the obesity problem. It examines the scale and characteristics of the epidemic, the respective roles and influence of market forces and governments, and the impact of interventions. It outlines an economic approach to the prevention of chronic diseases that provides novel insights relative to a more traditional public health approach.
The analysis was undertaken by the OECD, partly in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The main chapters are complemented by special contributions from health and obesity experts, including Marc Suhrcke, Tim Lobstein, Donald Kenkel and Francesco Branca.
“a valuable set of results and suggestions about the best preventive interventions to reduce the burden of obesity.” – Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard School of Public Health
“The positive message of this book is that the obesity epidemic can be successfully addressed.” – Ala Alwan, Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization
“innovative and well-researched” – Martin McKee, Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
"A timely, valuable volume on a critical issue. Highly recommended."-Choice, July 2011