In several European countries, including Norway, polices to increase patient choice of hospital provider have remained high on the political agenda. The main reason behind the interest in hospital choice reforms in Norway has been the belief that increasing choice can remedy the persistent problem of long waiting times for elective hospital care. Prior to the 2013 General Election, the Conservative Party campaigned in favour of a new choice reform: "the treatment choice reform". This article describes the background and process leading up to introduction of the reform in the autumn of 2015. It also provides a description of the content and discusses possible implications of the reform for patients, providers and government bodies. In sum, the reform contains elements of both continuity and change. The main novelty of the reform lies in the increased role of private for-profit healthcare providers.
Starting in 2015, the Swedish government has initiated a national reform to standardize cancer patient pathways and thereby eventually speed up treatment of cancer. Cancer care in Sweden is characterized by high survival rates and a generally high quality albeit long waiting times. The objective with the new national program to standardize cancer care pathways is to reduce these waiting times, increase patient satisfaction with cancer care and reduce regional inequalities. A new time-point for measuring the start of a care process is introduced called well-founded suspicion, which is individually designed for each cancer diagnosis. While medical guidelines are well established earlier, the standardisation is achieved by defining time boundaries for each step in the process. The cancer reform program is a collaborative effort initiated and incentivized by the central government while multi-professional groups develop the time-bound standardized care pathways, which the regional authorities are responsible for implementing. The broad stakeholder engagement and time-bound guidelines are interesting approaches to study for other countries that need to streamline care processes.
The Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada asked whether Medicare is sustainable in its present form. Well, Medicare is not sustainable for at least six reasons. Given a long list of factors, such as Canada's changing dependency ratio, the phenomenon of diminishing returns from increased taxation, competing provincial expenditure needs, low labour and technological productivity in government-funded healthcare, the expectations held by baby boomers, and the evolving value sets of Canadians--Medicare will impoverish Canada within the next couple of decades if not seriously recast. As distasteful as parallel private-pay, private-choice healthcare may be to some policy makers and providers who grew up in the 1960s, the reality of the 2020s will dictate its necessity as a pragmatic solution to a systemic problem.
The article presents materials of studying of such important problem of health care as standardization of specialized medical care provided in conditions of hospital and modernization of regional health care. The issues of standardization of specialized medical care are considered in medical, economic and social aspects. The implementation of medical standards was determined as one of main tasks of the regional program of modernization of health care. The program was developed with direct involvement of the authors of article. The comparative analysis of classes of diseases and nosologic forms on main indices of hospitalized morbidity and lethality was used for substantiation of priority of implementing medical standards in the region. The questionnaire survey was carried out on sampling of 510 patients of hospitals. The sociological questionnaire survey was applied to sampling of 8732 patients comprised by system of mandatory medical insurance. Such an approach determined reliability of derived results. The expertise of medical standards was implemented by 124 experienced and competent physicians participating in implementation of medical standards. The results of expertise confirmed expediency of implementation of medical standards. Kepy following shortcomings were established: inadequate financing; lacking of modern equipment and analysis techniques in hospitals, etc. The article presents evidences of effectiveness of process of standardization of specialized of medical care provided in hospital conditions. The basis of such an assumption was reliable increasing of level of satisfaction of quality of its organization and achievement of planned indices of "road map" in the section of increasing of salary of medical workers and decreasing of mortality of population because of controllable causes.
The article deals with the results of study of factual volumes of medical care according its main services provided to total population and to people older than able-bodied population in Nizhny Novgorod oblast. The study demonstrated that during last ten years, the character of organization and application of main volumes of medical care to people older than able-bodied population factually had no changes and does not correspond to the planned volumes of territorial program of public guarantees of free medical care. The increase of volume of emergency medical care in functioning of ambulance and emergency care service shortens possibilities of emergency medical care support and promote misallocation of financial resources. The level of medical care support of people older than able-bodied population in day-and-night hospitals is high at the same time it is lower in nursing departments and out-patient clinics. To provide the accessibility and quality of medical services to people older than able-bodied population the restructuration of medical care is needed to increase the volume of hospital-substituting types of medical care and to organize the service of specialized palliative care primarily for oncological patients.