Health at a Glance 2009

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2009
This fifth edition of Health at a Glance provides the latest comparable data on different aspects of the performance of health systems in OECD countries. It provides striking evidence of large variations across countries in the costs, activities and results of health systems. Key indicators provide information on health status, the determinants of health, health care activities and health expenditure and financing in OECD countries.

This edition also contains new chapters on the health workforce and on access to care, an important policy objective in all OECD countries. The chapter on quality of care has been extended to include a set of indicators on the quality of care for chronic conditions.

Each indicator in the book is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic and economic context within which health systems operate, as well as a concise description of key characteristics in health system financing and delivery of services in OECD countries.

English Also available in: French, German, Korean

Geographic distribution of doctors

Access to medical care requires an adequate number and proper distribution of physicians across the country. Shortages of physicians in a geographic region can lead to increased travel times for patients and higher caseloads for doctors, which may result in increased waiting times to receive care. Measuring disparities in the “density” of physicians among regions within the same country gives some indication of the accessibility of doctor services. Regions, however, may contain a mixture of urban and rural populations, so that although a region may have high physician density, persons living in geographically remote areas of that region may still face long travel times to receive medical care. In addition, the services that physicians offer should match need, whether these are for GPs or specialists.

English Also available in: German, French


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