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27/11/2020

Asia-Pacific countries managing COVID-19 crisis relatively well

19/11/2020

The resilience of European health systems

The resilience of European health systems

04/11/2015

Drug spending in the spotlight

Drug spending in the spotlight

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08/01/2021
This policy brief reports on the activity of online platforms during the COVID-19 crisis. Google Trends data for OECD and other G20 countries indicate that in some areas (such as retail sales, restaurant delivery, and mobile payments) online-platform use increased markedly during the first half of 2020, when most countries imposed lockdown and physical distancing measures. Thus, in this period, some economic transactions may have shifted to online marketplaces as people and businesses increasingly turned to online platforms to pursue economic and social activities. The rise in platform use was however highly heterogeneous across areas of activity and countries. Countries with higher levels of economic and technological development, easier access to infrastructure and connectivity, better digital skills, and wider Internet use tended to experience a larger increase in the use of online marketplaces, possibly mitigating the negative effects on output and jobs of the COVID-19 shock. This highlights the role of policies in strengthening countries’ digital preparedness and their resilience to future shocks.
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09/12/2020
The lightning-speed development of the new COVID-19 vaccines could not have happened without an extraordinary level of international co-operation. But it is only the first step and there are many challenges ahead. We can succeed — but only if we continue to work closely together.
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04/12/2020
Even with promising recent news on vaccine development, testing, tracking, tracing and isolating (TTTI) quickly and on a large scale continue to be essential to public health policy responses to the COVID‑19 pandemic. This note provides an update to an earlier OECD brief on such strategies in the light of recent developments in testing technologies. Molecular tests, and in particular RT-PCR, remain the reference for identifying infections because these tests are very reliable. But capacity constraints and the relatively high cost of RT-PCR limit its use on a massive scale. More recently-developed rapid antigen tests offer the advantage of producing results much more quickly. They are also cheaper, simple to use, and can be performed at point-of-care, thus allowing their use on a very large scale. However, they are less reliable than molecular tests. To achieve their objectives, testing strategies can combine different technologies and use them in complementary ways, taking into account their respective strengths and limitations.
30/11/2020
Regions and Cities at a Glance 2020 provides a comprehensive assessment of how regions and cities across the OECD are progressing towards stronger, more sustainable and more resilient economies and societies. The publication provides a unique comparative picture in a number of aspects connected to economic development, health, well-being and net zero-carbon transition across regions and cities in OECD and selected non-OECD countries. In the light of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the report analyses outcomes and drivers of social, economic and environmental resilience.This edition provides several new features. First, an extended set of health-related indicators, including excess mortality, morbidity rates, and air quality. Second, novel indicators on the potential of regions and cities to remote working, as well as on trade openness and access to digital infrastructure enrich the economic chapter. Third, the report offers a number of new climate-and environment-related indicators, including on sustainable electricity production and related carbon emissions. The report shows population trends in over nine thousands cities and metropolitan areas across the entire world. Finally, the last chapter presents new indicators on spending and revenues capacity of regional governments in OECD countries.
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30/11/2020
Empirical work described in this policy brief explains the daily evolution of the reproduction rate, R, and mobility for a large sample of countries, in terms of containment and public health policies. This is with a view to providing insight into the appropriate policy stance as countries prepare for a potentially protracted period characterised by new infection waves. While a comprehensive package of containment measures may be necessary when the virus is widespread and can have a large effect on reducing R, they also have effect on mobility and, by extension, economic activity. A wide-ranging package of public health policies – with an emphasis on comprehensive testing, tracing and isolation, but also including mask-wearing and policies directed at vulnerable groups, especially those in care homes – offer the best approach to avoiding a full lockdown while containing the spread of the virus. Such policies may, however, need to be complemented by selective containment measures (such as restricting large public events and international travel or localised lockdowns) both to contain local outbreaks and because implementing some of the recommended public health policies may be difficult to achieve or have unacceptable social costs.
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27/11/2020
This sixth edition of Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific presents a set of key indicators of health status, the determinants of health, health care resources and utilisation, health care expenditure and financing and quality of care across 27 Asia-Pacific countries and territories. It also provides a series of dashboards to compare performance across countries and territories, and a thematic analysis on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Asia/Pacific health systems. Drawing on a wide range of data sources, it builds on the format used in previous editions of Health at a Glance, and gives readers a better understanding of the factors that affect the health of populations and the performance of health systems in these countries and territories. Each of the indicators is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and territories and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicators and any limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic and economic context in which health systems operate.
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19/11/2020
The 2020 edition of Health at a Glance: Europe focuses on the impact of the COVID‑19 crisis. Chapter 1 provides an initial assessment of the resilience of European health systems to the COVID-19 pandemic and their ability to contain and respond to the worst pandemic in the past century. Chapter 2 reviews the huge health and welfare burden of air pollution as another major public health issue in European countries, and highlights the need for sustained efforts to reduce air pollution to mitigate its impact on health and mortality. The five other chapters provide an overview of key indicators of health and health systems across the 27 EU member states, 5 EU candidate countries, 3 European Free Trade Association countries and the United Kingdom. Health at a Glance: Europe is the first step in the State of Health in the EU cycle.
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19/11/2020
COVID-19 is testing the resilience of health systems and placing immense pressure on health workers. The first wave of the pandemic showed how European countries need to prepare better and emerge better prepared from current restrictions to avoid future costly containment and mitigation measures. Effective testing, tracking, tracing and isolation are essential to contain the spread of the virus. Yet many European countries struggled to scale up their response, leaving them with fewer measures at their disposal.
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11/11/2020
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) governments reacted swiftly and pre-emptively to protect their citizens and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the region and its impact on the economy. However, the region struggled to contain the levels of contamination, notably due to the prevalence of the informal economy and the limitations of health infrastructure and social protection systems. On the economic front, the region was already in a weak situation at the time the pandemic hit, and now has less fiscal space than in 2008 to mitigate the deeper recession that will result from the 2020 outbreak. Focusing on the 15 countries that are a part of the Steering Group of the OECD LAC Regional Programme (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay), this note provides an update on the previous note published in May 2020. It highlights the government measures enacted to mitigate the crisis and considers long-term policy considerations towards the objective of building back a better future, with more inclusive, sustainable and resilient economies.
06/11/2020
Governments in the MENA region have rapidly reacted to contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19), by developing massive policy and institutional plans to support households and firms.This update includes the latest analysis on the economic and social consequences of the crisis, including new sections on the fiscal and educational challenges, as well as insights on the resilience of the healthcare system.
21/10/2020
Jorge Moreira da Silva, Director of Development Co-operation at the OECD and Dominique Charron, Vice-President of Programs and Partnerships at the International Development Research Centre, Canada on the importance of civil registration data to monitor and respond to emergency health events.
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01/10/2020
Mark Pearson, Deputy Director and Guillaume Dedet and Martin Wenzl, Health Policy Analysts of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs at the OECD on how international organisations, like the OECD, cannot let up on the job of strengthening co-operation if the COVID-19 pandemic is to be stopped once and for all.
15/09/2020
This blog drafted by Tiago Cravo Oliveira Hashiguchi argues that the COVID-19 crisis has shown that AI can deliver benefits, while also exposing its limits -- particularly around data.
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14/09/2020
This blog drafted by Céline Colin, Tax Economist, and Bert Brys, Senior Tax Economist, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, OECD, argues that like many other African countries, Côte d’Ivoire and Morocco will need to continue to mobilise domestic resources to meet the health needs of their populations, during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
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11/08/2020
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.
04/08/2020
This brief discusses the existing obstacles in developing international clinical trials that are critical to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides information on relevant adaptations of regulatory requirements for clinical trials, intended to accelerate the processes, and highlights the need to harmonise further these regulations between national regulatory authorities. To this end, this brief describes the existing OECD Recommendation on the Governance of Clinical Trials issued in 2012 and how its implementation could greatly facilitate and streamline the registration and conduct of international clinical trials.
03/08/2020
This blog drafted by Jeremy West highlights the risk that COVID-19 online disinformation poses, and identifies ways in which governments, civil society, Internet companies and public health authorities can work together to limit its spread.
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03/07/2020
This blog drafted by Alistair Nolan discusses how emerging digital technologies - including drones, collaborative computing and robots - can be used to combat the spread of COVID-19, and how policies can help support their use.
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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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