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Health at a Glance 2015

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2015

This new edition of Health at a Glance presents the most recent comparable data on the performance of health systems in OECD countries. Where possible, it also reports data for partner countries (Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russian Federation and South Africa). Compared with the previous edition, this new edition includes a new set of dashboards of health indicators to summarise in a clear and user-friendly way the relative strengths and weaknesses of OECD countries on different key indicators of health and health system performance, and also a special focus on the pharmaceutical sector. This edition also contains new indicators on health workforce migration and on the quality of health care.

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Prescribing in primary care

Beyond consumption and expenditure information (see ), prescribing can be used as an indicator of health care quality. Antibiotics, for example, should be prescribed only where there is an evidence-based need, to reduce the risk of resistant strains. Likewise, quinolones and cephalosporins are considered second-line antibiotics in most prescribing guidelines. Their use should be restricted to ensure availability of effective second-line therapy should first-line antibiotics fail. Total volume of antibiotics prescribed, and second-line as a proportion of total volume, have been validated as markers of quality in the primary care setting. In May 2015, the World Health Assembly endorsed a global action plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance (http://who.int/drugresistance/global_action_plan), which is also reflected in several national strategies.

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