The COVID-19 pandemic is transforming how we think about our economies and our societies. The policy choices governments make today will determine their success in building a transition to a greener, more inclusive and more resilient tomorrow. It is an opportunity to chart a path that empowers everyone to face the future with confidence.
By July 2022, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) had 13% of the world’s documented COVID-19 cases and 27% of the documented deaths – while accounting for only 8.5% of the world population. (At 873 per 100 000, Peru's excess death rate was more than double that of the LAC region, and roughly four times that of the OECD average.)
Such stark numbers bring to light long-standing weaknesses and challenges in the region's health systems. On closer examination, variables such as the comprehensiveness of a country's pandemic response and active measures to offset shortcomings correlated with lower excess death rates.
Chile and Costa Rica both centrally manage hospital capacity (including private providers). Despite a shortage of hospital beds similar to other countries in the region, an enhanced ability to allocate scarce resources made the difference: excess death rates in the two countries were lower than the OECD average.
Explore key indicators from 27 Asia-Pacific countries and territories on health status, determinants of health, healthcare resources and utilisation, healthcare expenditure and financing, and quality of care (25 Nov 2022)
What are the key challenges to building more resilient and effective health systems following COVID-19? How has the pandemic affected young people’s mental and physical health, and non-COVID patients? (5 Dec 2022)
Developing countries received official development assistance (ODA) on vaccines worth USD 6.3bn in 2021 – see the preliminary contributions by country.
COVID-19 exacerbated the long-standing skills shortages in the health workforce. This joint OECD-ILO report provides a comparative overview of practices in 16 countries and examines how governments can better respond to future crises. (15 Dec 2022)
The report examines the primary healthcare policies and actions taken to absorb the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Peru. (13 Dec 2022)
Explore the OECD's comprehensive source of comparative statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries.
Pressure on inflation and household budgets have eased, but core inflation remains high – and higher interest rates are having an increasing impact.
COVID-19 exposed existing faultlines in social mobility. What is it, why is it important and how can policy support it? Explore the OECD's new portal to learn more.
Providing support to the children who need it most will provide the foundation for stronger economies – and more resilient societies in the future.
The use of telemedicine was limited in most OECD countries before COVID‑19. In 2020, governments began promoting it, including by changing provider payment systems. Teleconsultations skyrocketed, and were crucial to maintaining care.
Today, there are key differences in how remote care is organised, regulated and financed across the OECD. Uncertainties remain, with only 17 countries saying regulations governing telemedicine are clear. This may make it difficult for providers to offer remote care.
Policymakers should consider:
who uses remote care and why, and what happens after its use, to better understand telemedicine’s impact on health systems
whether payment and organisational arrangements encourage the most effective use of telemedicine
how to integrate remote and in-person care
The digital and green transformations have driven rapid changes in the world of work. Along with ageing populations, workers are facing ever greater job instability – which could impose costs on companies, workers and society.
By 2019, the average length of a job for a worker fell by nine months compared with just seven years before, a decline has been felt across all age groups. People have also been changing jobs at a faster pace, with one in five workers experiencing a change every year. This is a greater challenge for older workers.
With more people working for longer and against a backdrop of acute labour and skill shortages – a trend COVID-19 appears to have accelerated – there is a greater need to understand how to put the skills of a multigenerational workforce to better use, including through greater worker retention.
In 2020, the COVID-19 shock saw the average direct contribution of tourism to GDP in OECD countries plummet to 2.8% – a 1.9 percentage point fall compared before COVID-19. On average it generated 20.5% of service-related exports in the OECD.
Tourism creates jobs, stimulates regional development and supports local communities. Countries with a sizeable tourism sector pre-COVID-19, such as Iceland (8.1% of GDP), Mexico (8.0%) and Portugal (8.1%), have experienced some of the biggest declines in the sector’s direct contribution to GDP, and in overall GDP.
While job retention schemes helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic on tourism employment, labour shortages and skills gaps risk constraining the recovery. In the first quarter of 2022, employment in accommodation and food services was, on average, 9.0% below its pre-COVID-19 level.
The OECD is launching two new tools aimed at efforts to help countries build better and build stronger as they bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
> The COVID-19 Recovery Dashboard provides a comprehensive set of outcome indicators that measure countries’ recovery efforts along four parameters – strong, inclusive, green and resilient
> The Regional Recovery Platform addresses the challenge of tackling the unevenness of recoveries within countries, drawing on internationally-comparable subnational data across multiple indicators
Special Advisor on COVID-19 to the President of the European Commission
Chair, The Lancet Oncology Commission
Director, Education and Skills, OECD
Co-chair, Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response; and former New Zealand Prime Minister
The OECD Forum Network is a space that brings together different voices, different opinions and different ideas on how we can build a resilient recovery and emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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