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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.

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Premature mortality

Premature mortality, measured in terms of potential years of life lost (PYLL) before the age of 70 years, focuses on deaths among younger age groups of the population. PYLL values are heavily influenced by infant mortality and deaths from diseases and injuries affecting children and younger adults: a death at five years of age represents 65 PYLL; one at 60 years of age only ten. Declines in PYLL can be influenced by advances in medical technology, for example, in relation to infant mortality and deaths due to heart disease, and in prevention and control measures, reducing untimely or avoidable deaths from injuries and communicable diseases. A number of other variables, such as GDP per capita, occupational status, numbers of doctors and alcohol and tobacco consumption, have also been associated with reduced premature mortality (Or, 2000; Joumard et al., 2008).

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Graphs

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