SELECTED FOR YOU... NOVEMBER 2009 : books of the month - working papers

All the Selected for you


Comparative studies and the politics of modern medical care.

Marmor T.R., Freeman R., Okma K.G.H.

New Haven : Yale University Press. 2009. Pages : 14- 353 p.

This book offers a timely account of health reform struggles in developed democracies. The editors, leading experts in the field, have brought together a group of distinguished scholars to explore the ambitions and realities of health care regulation, financing, and delivery across countries. These wide-ranging essays cover policy debates and reforms in Canada, Germany, Holland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as separate treatments of some of the most prominent issues confronting policy makers. These include primary care, hospital care, long-term care, pharmaceutical policy, and private health insurance. The authors are attentive throughout to the ways in which cross-national, comparative research may inform national policy debates not only under the Obama administration but across the world.


Cash and care : quality challenges in the welfare state.

Glenndinning C., Kemp P.A.

Bristol : The Policy Press. 2006. Pages : 12 p. + 322 p.

This comprehensive and groundbreaking text provides the most up-to-date examination and critique of the interrelationships and changing boundaries between cash and care policy, delivery and theoretical developments in the United Kingdom and other advanced welfare states. This book opens up a new and fresh perspective on the aspects of money and the household. All the contributions of this book are well written and well researched...The individual contributions are all strong, and the articles have been picked with care to cover a wide spectrum of specific issues within the cash and care debates. Though there is a strong focus on the UK this is supplemented with many international comparisons, and the reader comes away with a deeper understanding of household care and cash issues as a whole.


Cash for care in developed Welfare States.

New York : Palgrave Macmillan. 2007. Pages : 13 p. + 214 p.

In many developed welfare states consumers of social services are increasingly given money rather than services so that they can buy in their own care. Many governments consider this to be the future of care especially for disabled and frail elderly people. This book explores the implications of these trends, not just for the older consumers but also for the workers involved, through cross-national case studies from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the USA. Whilst some schemes allow relatives to be paid as fully-fledged workers, some turn a blind eye, and others forbid it. Some schemes promote the social rights of care workers, whilst others do not. These issues are explored using new empirical data drawn from a cross-national study of elderly consumers and their careworkers. This study is a major contribution to comparative social policy, gerontology, the new sociology of work, women's studies and points to directions for the future of social care


Health Insurance

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008

Denavas-Walt C., Proctor B.D., Smith J.C.

Washington : U.S. Government Printing Office. 2009. Pages : 67 p.

This report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2009 and earlier Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data presented in this report indicate the following: Real median household income fell between 2007 and 2008.

Health inequalities

Healthy minds in healthy bodies. An international comparison of education-related inequality in physical health among older adults

Jurges H.

Mannheim Economics Department Discussion Papers.

Mannheim : MEA. 2007. Pages : 26 p.

We study education-related inequality in the physical health of older adults across 11 European countries and the United States. Combining the data from Health and Retirement Study 2002, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing 2002 and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe 2004, our results suggest that education is strongly correlated with health both across and within countries. Education-related inequality in health is larger in Mediterranean and Anglo-Saxon countries than in western European countries. We find no evidence of a trade-off between health levels and equity in health. Education-related inequality in health is hardly driven by income or wealth effects (except in the United States), and differences in health behaviours (smoking) by education level contribute little to health differences across education groups.

Women and health. Today's evidence, tomorrow agenda

World Health Organisation (WHO) Genève. CHE

Genève : OMS. 2009. Pages : 91 p.

This is a report on women and health – both women's health needs and their contribution to the health of societies. Women's health has long been a concern for WHO but today it has become an urgent priority. This report explains why. Using current data, it takes stock of what we know now about the health of women throughout their lives and across the different regions of the world.


Pharmaceutical sector inquiry : final report

European Commission (EC). Direction de la Concurrence. Bruxelles. BEL

Bruxelles : Office des publications officielles des Communautés européennes. 2009/07. Pages : 605 p.

The pharmaceutical sector is essential for the health of Europe's citizens who need access to innovative, safe and affordable medicines. On average approximately € 430 was spent on medicines in 2007 for each European and this amount will likely continue to increase as the population in Europe ages. Overall, in 2007, the market for prescription and non-prescription medicines for human use in the EU was worth over € 138 billion ex-factory and € 214 billion at retail prices.

This report is part of well-established Commission policies and initiatives relevant to the pharmaceutical sector including the Lisbon Strategy, the Commission's Industrial Property Rights Strategy, the Communication on a Renewed Vision of the Pharmaceutical Sector2 and the Innovative Medicines Initiative3. It should also be viewed in parallel with the Commission's regulatory activities addressing, in particular, the safety, quality and efficacy of medicines4, the transparency of national pricing and reimbursement procedures5 and the protection of intellectual property rights. Indeed, given the importance of the pharmaceutical industry for economic growth and employment, as well as its role for public health, the Commission is committed to pursuing policies that create an environment conducive to ensuring the viability of this sector.

The sector inquiry therefore ties in with other Commission initiatives aimed at providing European patients with safe, effective and affordable medicines, while at the same time creating a business environment that stimulates research, boosts valuable innovation and supports the competitiveness of the industry.


Analysis of National Cancer Control Programmes in Europe

Atun R., Ogawa T., Martin-Moreno J.M.

Londres : Imperial college Business school. 2009/06. Pages : 97 p.

The objective of this study is to carry out a systematic assessment of the currently available National Cancer Control Plans (NCCPs) in Europe based on an analytical framework which consistently follows a health systems approach (examining not only the service provision aspect, but also issues of financing, resource generation and governance). The rationale for the investigation arises upon observing the emerging trend, propelled by repeated calls from patients, cancer experts and international bodies, to articulate an organized plan of action to face the cancer burden in all its settings. The researchers understand that an analysis using this approach will enable a consistent and objective comparison of planning to address the cancer burden in various settings: enabling systematic mapping of cancer plans in different countries and identifying the good practices and diversity that exists. In turn, this knowledge could be used to improve the quality and coherence of present and future cancer plans.

Health and Work

Health and wellbeing at work in the United Kingdom

Hassan E., Austin C., Celia C.

Technical Report n° 758. Santa Monica : Rand corporation. 2009. Pages : 67 p.

The literature review is intended to provide evidence on whether health workplace interventions could be useful to mitigate health risk factors, and to reduce the costs associated with poor health and wellbeing in British workplaces and the NHS. In order to achieve this, the study : examines the extent of poor health and wellbeing in British workplaces and the NHS; (2) reviews the scholarly literature on the effectiveness of health workplace interventions in terms of health and work-related outcomes; and (3) identifies some lessons that can be learnt from a small group of ‘good practice' comparators identified by Dr Steve Boorman.

Ageing, work-related stress and health. Reviewing the evidence

Griffiths A., Knight A.,

Nor Mohd Mahudin D. Londres : The Age and Employment Network. 2009. Pages : 33 p.

This scientific literature review was jointly commissioned by TAEN - The Age and Employment Network, and Age Concern and Help the Aged. The majority of of reviews of research on work-related stress, its causes and its effects have been based on large groups of workers very rarely distinguished by age. This report aims to address the gap.

Long term care

New Directions for Facility-Based Long Term Care

Canadian Healthcare Association. (CHA). Ottawa. CAN, Association Canadienne des Soins de Santé. Ottawa. CAN

Ottawa : Canadian Healthcare Association. 2009. Pages : 168 p.

The Canadian Healthcare Association's brief New Directions for Facility-Based Long Term Care is now available. It highlights the need to achieve the appropriate balance of health services through a variety of means, including: matching the health service setting to the health condition; enhancing ongoing health services to the chronically ill, disabled and mentally ill; offering health services in the setting that is most cost-efficient and care-effective for each individual situation; and averting the premature admission to facility-based long term care of individuals who could move to supportive/assisted living arrangements (or remain in their own home) with the support of quality-driven home and community services. This should be achieved while recognizing that facility-based long term care is a desirable option for many people and not a dreaded institution of last resort.

Primary health care

Research agenda for General Practice/ Family Medicine and Primary Health Care in Europe

Hummers-Pradier E., Beyer M., Chevallier P.

Maastricht : European General Practice Research Network. 2009. Pages : 69 p.

The Research Agenda for General Practice / Family Medicine and Primary Health Care in Europe aims to promote research in family medicine and to help family doctors to develop research proposals that are in line with the problems of practising physicians and their patients. It can also be seen as a tool for policy makers and other agencies interested in funding innovative research, since it identifies areas where research is needed. In that way, the agenda may be used as a guide for deciding about priorities in research.

Improving Quality in Primary Care

Department of Health (DOH). London. GBR

Londres : Department of Health. 2009. Pages : 135 p.

This is a practical guide to support PCTs as commissioners of primary care, in working with local clinicians and other stakeholders - including patients - to promote continuous quality and productivity improvement in primary care services.

Health care systems

The comprehensive congressional health reform bills of 2009 : a look at health insurance, delivery system and financing provisions

Collins S.R., Davis K., Nuzum R.

New York : The Commonwealth Fund. 2009/10. Pages : 35 p.

This report provides an overview of key provisions of the two separate comprehensive health reform bills passed by the five committees of jurisdiction in the U.S. Congress: the Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee of the Senate, and the Ways and Means, Education and Labor, and Energy and Commerce committees of the House of Representatives. While the general frameworks of the bills are very similar—all bills include provisions intended to improve and expand coverage and all would create a comprehensive and coherent strategy for improving health care quality—they differ in a few key respects. Most important, the Senate Finance Committee bill does not include a public plan option or a requirement that employers offer coverage, nor does it reform for more than one year Medicare's formula for setting physician fees; the House bill includes all of these features.

Euro Health consumer index 2009. Health Consumer Powerhouse

Bruxelles. BEL

Bruxelles : Health Consumer Powerhouse. 2009. Pages : 67 p.

The Netherlands win the 2009 Euro Health Consumer Index (EHCI), for the second year in a row - the first time this happens since the EHCI started in 2005 - and with an outstanding margin. Nevertheless, Denmark keeps its runner-up position from last year. Besides the Dutch and Danish system there is a small group of strong performers: Iceland, Austria and Switzerland. There are general improvement trends among most of the measured healthcare systems, with examples of reform making impact not only in Netherlands but in Ireland and the Czech Republic as well. There is continuous decline in the Spanish or Greek healthcare systems which do not keep up with the improvement rate one can find in countries like the Netherlands, Denmark or Ireland. Large parts of Eastern and Central Europe seem to be affected by the financial crisis.

Australia's health 2008 : the eleventh biennial report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (AIHW). Canberra. AUS

Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2009/09. Pages : 276 p.

Australia's health 2008 is the 11th biennial health report of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. It's the nation's premier source of statistics and informed commentary on: - patterns and determinants of health and illness - health across the life stages - the supply and use of health services - expenditure and workforce - and health sector performance.

Towards national indicators of safety and quality in health care

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (AIHW). Canberra. AUS

Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2009/09. Pages : 276 p.

This report sets out recommendations for a set of 55 national indicators of safety and quality in health care. The report concludes the National Indicators Project, a major project funded by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (the Commission) and undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in close consultation with the Commission and a wide range of clinical and other stakeholders.

Health and Ageing

The Last Year of Life in Europe: Initial Findings from the SHARE Study

Jurges H., Hank K.

Mannheim Economics Department Discussion Papers ; 141-2007. Mannheim : MEA. 2007. Pages : 26 p.

This article provides an explorative overview of the life circumstances of older Europeans in their last year of life. Using information from 526 end-of-life interviews conducted as part of the 2006-07 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we detect a high prevalence of disability in the last year of life, varying by socio-demographic characteristics and geographic region. The most important sources of help in the year prior to death are children and children-in-law, but non-family also plays a major role, particularly in Northern Europe. Two fifths of the decedents died outside of institutions, this fraction being larger in Southern than in Northern Europe. Most decedents divide their bequests almost equally between their children. Our findings draw an initial picture of older European's last year of life and show, how the research potential introduced in this paper might expand once future waves of SHARE become available.