Health Care Quality and Outcomes
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This report was prepared for the 2nd Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety, held in Bonn on 29-30 March 2017. It first estimates the health, financial and economic costs of patient harm - defined as any unnecessary deleterious effects on those receiving health care. The report then examines how patient harm can be minimised effectively and efficiently to make complex healthcare systems as safe and reliable as possible.
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.
Health workers are crucial for ensuring access to high quality care for the whole population. The OECD advises countries on how to meet future demand for health professionals and how to manage the supply of health workers, by reviewing policies related to education and training, continuous professional development, geographic distribution and immigration.
In March 2016, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon officially established a High-level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth. The Commission is co-chaired by Mr François Hollande, President of France, and Mr Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, and co-vice-chaired by Dr. Margaret Chan (WHO), Mr. Guy Ryder (ILO) and Mr. Angel Gurría (OECD).
Read about our groundbreaking report on inequality - In it Together: Why less inequality benefits all - as well as our recent work on tackling harmful alcohol use. You can also find here all our work on employment, migration, health and social policy over the last few months, as well as highlights from this summer's OECD Forum which addressed the theme "Investing in the future: people, planet, prosperity”.
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New Zealand has a generally high performing health system, which provides universal coverage and publicly funded access to a large set of core health services. Similar to other high-income countries, New Zealand faces the challenges posed by an ageing population, health inequities, as well as the growing burden of non-communicable and chronic diseases.
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The Slovak Republic is struggling to attain the same health outcomes as its Western European Union neighbours. With 5.6% government expenditure on health as share of GDP and moderate private health spending, the country’s financial resources for health are on par with neighbouring Central European countries and countries of comparable wealth.
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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.