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Winning the war against Covid-19: A new phase – with Francesca Colombo
Winning the war against Covid-19: A new phase – with Francesca Colombo
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02/07/2020
This brief discusses policy developments and evidence on the incidence of sick leave during the first three months of the crisis. It concludes that paid sick leave can be a particularly effective tool during de-confinement, as part of a rigorous testing, tracking, tracing and isolating strategy.
25/06/2020
Pandemic preparedness and response are quintessential “global public goods”: unless the new coronavirus is controlled everywhere, the risk of pandemic resurgence remains. This paper presents the key role of development finance in helping developing countries’ health systems prepare and respond to outbreaks. Yet, the global architecture is proving insufficient – and the risk is great that developing countries will be deeply affected by the direct consequences of the outbreak.
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16/06/2020
Health at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2020 presents key indicators on health and health systems in 33 Latin America and the Caribbean countries. This first Health at a Glance publication to cover the Latin America and the Caribbean region was prepared jointly by OECD and the World Bank. Analysis is based on the latest comparable data across almost 100 indicators including equity, health status, determinants of health, health care resources and utilisation, health expenditure and financing, and quality of care. The editorial discusses the main challenges for the region brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as managing the outbreak as well as mobilising adequate resources and using them efficiently to ensure an effective response to the epidemic. An initial chapter summarises the comparative performance of countries before the crisis, followed by a special chapter about addressing wasteful health spending that is either ineffective or does not lead to improvement in health outcomes so that to direct saved resources where they are urgently needed.
30/05/2020
The rapid spread of COVID-19 added urgency to the need to address long-standing pressures on health systems, linked to growing citizens’ expectations, population ageing and more complex and costly health care needs. As the first point of contact, primary health care that provides comprehensive, continuous, and co-ordinated care is key to boosting preventive care, treating those who need care, and helping people become more active in managing their own health. It has the potential to improve health system efficiency and health outcomes for people across socio-economic levels, and make health systems people-centred. This report examines primary health care across OECD countries before the COVID-19 pandemic, and draws attention to how primary health care is not living up to its full potential. Doing things differently – through new models of organising services, better co-ordination among providers, better use of digital technology, and better use of resources and incentives – helps to improve care, reduce the need for hospitalisations, and mitigate health inequalities. This report identifies key policy challenges that OECD countries need to address to realise the full potential of primary health care, and reviews progress and innovations towards transforming primary health care.
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29/05/2020
This brief discusses policies needed to ensure equitable and universal access by all those in need globally to future vaccines for SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and treatments for the disease.
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28/05/2020
Long waiting times for health services is an important policy issue in most OECD countries. Reducing the time that people have to wait to get a consultation with a general practitioner, or a diagnostic test or treatment, can go a long way in improving patient experience and avoiding possible deterioration in their health. Governments in many countries have taken various measures to reduce waiting times, often supported by additional funding, with mixed success. This report looks at how waiting times for elective treatment, which is usually the longest wait, have stalled over the past decade in many countries, and have started to rise again in some others. It also analyses the differences in how long people have to wait to get a consultation with general practitioners or specialists across countries. The report reviews a range of policies that countries have used to tackle waiting times for different services, including elective surgery and primary care consultations, but also cancer care and mental health services, with a focus on identifying the most successful ones.
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26/05/2020
This report presents the most up-to-date and comprehensive cross-country assessment of long-term care (LTC) workers, the tasks they perform and the policies to address shortages in OECD countries. It highlights the importance of improving working conditions in the sector and making care work more attractive and shows that there is space to increase productivity by enhancing the use of technology, providing a better use of skills and investing in prevention.Population ageing has outpaced the growth of workers in the long-term care (LTC) sector and the sector struggles with attracting and retaining enough workers to care for those dependent on others for care. Non-standard work is widespread, pay levels tend to be lower than similar-qualification jobs in other health sectors, and LTC workers experience more health problems than other health workers. Further, educational requirements tend to be insufficient to perform more demanding and growing tasks of LTC. With growing demand for care at home, better co-ordination between the health and long-term care sectors and between formal and informal careers is needed.
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19/05/2020
Evidence that cardiovascular disease is contributing to the slowdown in improvements in life expectancy in some OECD countries prompted OECD and The King’s Fund to convene an international workshop to examine this issue. Invitees included members of OECD’s Health Care Quality and Outcomes Working Party and five international experts. This publication describes the workshop proceedings and conclusions about the evidence on trends in cardiovascular disease mortality, their drivers and the policy implications. The report includes contributions by the plenary speakers, Susanne Løgstrup (European Heart Network), Jessica Ho (University of Southern California), Catherine Johnson (Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation), Anton Kunst (Amsterdam AMC) and Martin O’Flaherty (University of Liverpool). It shows cardiovascular disease is an important contributor to slowing life expectancy improvements in some countries, and flags some measurement problems such as international differences and changes in diagnostic practices and cause of death coding, and the complex linkages between cardiovascular disease and other causes of death. The report calls for improvements in national and international data and monitoring to support more timely and effective policy responses for preventing, managing and treating cardiovascular disease, and for tackling socio-economic and gender inequalities.
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13/05/2020
This brief focuses on the contribution of migrant doctors and nurses to OECD health systems and how OECD countries have adapted the recognition of foreign credentials to mobilise additional doctors and nurses with foreign degrees in response to COVID-19. It also highlights the potential impact on countries of origin, some of which were already facing severe shortages of skilled health workers before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for a global response to the global health worker shortage.
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12/05/2020
In global emergencies like the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, open science policies can remove obstacles to the free flow of research data and ideas, and thus accelerate the pace of research critical to combating the disease.While global sharing and collaboration of research data has reached unprecedented levels, challenges remain. Trust in at least some of the data is relatively low, and outstanding issues include the lack of specific standards, co-ordination and interoperability, as well as data quality and interpretation.To strengthen the contribution of open science to the COVID-19 response, policy makers need to ensure adequate data governance models, interoperable standards, sustainable data sharing agreements involving public sector, private sector and civil society, incentives for researchers, sustainable infrastructures, human and institutional capabilities and mechanisms for access to data across borders.
04/05/2020
This note provides information on the global value chain for the production of surgical masks and N95 respirators in the context of the COVID-19 crisis. It analyses the causes of the current shortage of these key medical supplies needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and reviews some short-term and long-term policy options, with a focus on the role of trade and investment policy.
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04/05/2020
The COVID-19 pandemic is harming health, social and material well-being of children worldwide, with the poorest children, including homeless children and children in detention, hit hardest. School closures, social distancing and confinement increase the risk of poor nutrition among children, their exposure to domestic violence, increase their anxiety and stress, and reduce access to vital family and care services. Widespread digitalisation mitigates the education loss caused by school-closures, but the poorest children are least likely to live in good home-learning environments with internet connection. Furthermore, increased unsupervised on-line internet use has magnified issues around sexual exploitation and cyber-bullying. Immediate government measures need to ensure that children have access to good food, receive protection against child abuse and neglect, have continued access to child physical and mental health services, and can navigate safely on the internet. Policies also need to support parental employment since it is key to fighting child poverty.
27/04/2020
This note examines how governments across the OECD are managing public servants in response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. It summarises the principles underpinning the most common measures taken across the OECD, and identifies initial opportunities for managing and harnessing change. The content of this note was developed through a Special Session of the Working Party on Public Employment and Management held on 15 April.
23/04/2020
Digital technologies, in particular mobile and biometric applications, are being adopted in innovative ways to improve the effectiveness of government front-line responses to COVID-19.
23/04/2020
Today, AI technologies and tools play a key role in every aspect of the COVID-19 crisis response. To help facilitate the use of AI throughout the crisis, policy makers should encourage the sharing of medical, molecular, and scientific datasets and models on collaborative platforms to help AI researchers build effective tools for the medical community, and should ensure that researchers have access to the necessary computing capacity. To realise the full promise of AI to combat COVID-19, policy makers must ensure that AI systems are trustworthy and aligned with the OECD AI Principles.
22/04/2020
Trade facilitation is critical in the current crisis to ensure the swift movement of essential medical, food and IT supplies.Implementing reforms in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement can help.
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21/04/2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic highlights the need for a comprehensive and integrated approach to human health. Enhancing environmental health through better air quality, water and sanitation, waste management, along with efforts to safeguard biodiversity, will reduce the vulnerability of communities to pandemics and thus improve overall societal well-being and resilience.
17/04/2020
This policy brief discusses the role of testing for COVID 19 as part of any plan to lift confinement restrictions and prepare for a possible new wave of viral infections. If all confinement restrictions are lifted before a vaccine or effective treatments are developed without other measures to suppress new infections, the infection rate is expected to rebound rapidly. Crucially, quick suppression of infections requires testing more people to identify who is infected; tracking them to make sure they do not spread the disease further; and tracing with whom they have been in contact. This brief discusses how testing strategies can be used to achieve three main goals: suppressing the resurgence of local outbreaks, identifying people who have developed some form of immunity and can safely return to work and gaining intelligence on the evolution of the epidemic, including on when a threshold for herd immunity has been reached. The brief discusses what tests can be used for each goal, as well as practical implementation issues with testing strategies, including the opportunities and risks of using digital tools in this context.
16/04/2020
Health systems are facing the most serious global pandemic crisis in a century. The main focus of this brief is on the policies aimed at providing effective care and managing the pressure on health systems.
03/04/2020
Handwashing is one of the top preventive measures recommended to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). However, current levels of handwashing with soap are generally low across the region. Monitoring handwashing behaviour is difficult but the presence of soap and water at a designated place is generally used as a proxy indicator.
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