This new OECD series aims to highlight the latest data in selected countries, to explain their health care systems and to provide key information in a clear and concise way. Each country snapshot highlights the most pertinent issues, be it smoking, obesity, surgical interventions, consumption of antibiotics, physicians density, etc., with the help of key statistics and are followed by brief policy recommendations.
English, PDF, 349kb
Health spending per capita in Iceland has started to rise again in recent years following sharp reductions after the economic crisis in 2008. Iceland reports good health outcomes, and tobacco and alcohol consumption are relatively low. However, increasing obesity rates and issues related to access to care are important public health and health system challenges.
Today, more than one in two adults and nearly one in six children are overweight or obese in the OECD area. The obesity epidemic has spread further in the past five years. This Obesity Update focusses on a selection of new policy strategies, specifically at communication policies aimed to tackle obesity, in particular by improving nutrient information displayed on food labels, or by regulating the marketing of food products.
Access the 2012 and 2014 editions of "Obesity Update", the OECD short brief on key obesity trends and data.
English, PDF, 520kb
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.
English, PDF, 424kb
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.
English, PDF, 339kb
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.
English, PDF, 362kb
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.
English, PDF, 338kb
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.
English, PDF, 346kb
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.