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HEALTH: OECD, EFFORTS TO IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY

(Fonte: Oecd, Paris) – Thought this new Oecd report on health care might be of interest. It finds that a significant share of health spending in Oecd countries is at best ineffective and at worst wasteful. Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health says that at a time when public budgets are under pressure worldwide, it is alarming that around one fifth of health expenditure likely makes no or minimal contribution to good health outcomes. In other words, governments could spend significantly less on health care and still improve patients’ health. Efforts to improve the efficiency of health spending at the margin are no longer good enough.

According to the report:One in ten patients in Oecd countries is unnecessarily harmed at the point of care. More than 10% of hospital expenditure is spent on correcting preventable medical mistakes or infections that people catch in hospitals. One in three babies is delivered by caesarean section, whereas medical indications suggest that C-section rates should be 15% at most. The market penetration of generic pharmaceuticals – drugs with effects equivalent to those of branded products but typically sold at lower prices – ranges between 10-80% across Oecd countries. A third of Oecd citizens consider the health sector to be corrupt or even extremely corrupt.

Strategies to reduce waste can be summed up as: i) stop doing things that do not bring value: for example, unnecessary surgeries and clinical procedures; and ii) swap when equivalent but less pricy alternatives of equal value exist: for example, by encouraging the use of generic drugs, developing advanced roles for nurses, or ensuring that patients who do not require hospital care are treated in less resource-consuming settings. The report is available online at www.oecd.org/health/tackling-wasteful-spending-on-health-9789264266414-en.htm or I can email you a copy on request.