OECD Observer
Home
Menu
Clinical trials for better health policies

A recent OECD Recommendation on the Governance of Clinical Trials issued in December 2012 could improve the outlook for fighting deadly diseases around the world. Here is how.

Still booming

The Internet is much more than a multi-billion dollar industry. The world’s economy now depends on this global “cloud”, which was once little more than a means of connecting different computers over a phone network. Today, the digital age has vast new potential to serve as a force of progress in the global economy, but better, smarter public policies will be needed for that potential to become reality.

Diabetes alarm

Some 83 million people suffer from diabetes in the OECD area. On current trends, that will rise to almost 100 million by 2030. 

Health spending slows

For the first time in decades, health spending has not increased in real terms on average across OECD countries. According to figures published in the latest OECD health data 2012, the growth in health spending in 2010 slowed or turned negative in almost all OECD countries. 

Click to enlarge
Who pays if you’re sick?

Emerging economies have made good progress on health coverage recently, but the share of out-of-pocket payments in total health expenditure remains significantly higher than in most advanced countries.

#36 On medical tourism
Learning to care

In 1950, less than 1% of the global population was over 80. By 2050, the share of those aged 80 and over is expected to reach nearly 10% across OECD countries. The trouble is, while people are living longer, they are not always able to look after themselves. Relying on family help can be difficult, not just financially, but also because, as people live longer, their children may also be ageing and facing challenges of their own. That is why public authorities are starting to focus on the issue of long-term care and the provision of services for elderly people with reduced functional capacities.

Coming out of the water closet

In the last edition of the OECD Observer we showed how investing in a gas-based kitchen can save lives. The simple water closet can also be a means to good health and dignity, and a source of economic wellbeing, says a new OECD report, Benefits of Investing in Water and Sanitation.

Budget treatment

The growing burden of healthcare expenditure on public budgets is hardly a recent phenomenon. For 15 years before the onset of the financial crisis, health spending per capita had been going up by over 4% per year in real terms across the OECD area–much faster than growth in real incomes. Nearly all OECD countries will soon have nearuniversal healthcare coverage–an historic achievement.

The growth of medical tourism

The number of people travelling abroad to seek medical treatment appears to have been growing in recent years. This could be part of a growing global trend.

Rare diseases : A hidden priority

Until recently, public health authorities and policy makers have largely ignored rare diseases. It is time to afford them higher priority. Here is why.

Don’t forget, employees make healthcare work

Healthcare must be maintained as an essential public good

Fighting down obesity

“Obesity is one of the foremost public health emergencies of our time.”

Focus on Portuguese healthcare firms

Interviews of leaders of Portugal healthcare private sector.

#16 Unhealthy perspective