International Health News Briefing Archive

International Health News Briefing is a newsletter from the International Health Policy and Innovation program. Each issue contains summaries of health policy news in select countries, as well as updates on related Commonwealth Fund publications and events.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley Announces Major Health Reforms

Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley laid out the new Coalition Government's plan for health care reform in the white paper, "Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS."

NICE Rejects Cancer Drug Avastin, Life-Extending but Too Expensive

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence ruled that the drug Avastin is not a cost-efficient treatment for colorectal cancer, and therefore should not be prescribed by the English and Welsh NHS.

Second Annual Report on End-of-Life Care Shows Momentum, but Challenges Remain

Prof. Sir Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for Cancer Care, submitted the Second Annual Report on the NHS End of Life Strategy to Care Services Minister Paul Burstow.

Implementation of Electronic Health Records Begins

This August, three Australian general practitioner networks were chosen as test sites for the Australian National E-Health Transition Authority's pilot project on implementing a national electronic health records system.

Australian Labor Party Pledges Support of National Broadband Network

In an effort to provide better health care in rural and remote Australia, the newly reelected Labor Party and Australian Prime Minster Julia Gillard have pledged their dedication to the establishment of better broadband infrastructure and Internet access.

Raising Awareness About Patient Safety in Primary Care

In August 2010, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care released a discussion paper on patient safety in primary care.

Nationwide Bulk-Buying Drug Program

Canadian premiers recently attended the annual Council of the Federation conference in Winnipeg to discuss a purchasing alliance between provinces and territories.

Privacy Concerns on Health Data Access in Alberta

Chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, midwives, nurses, and other health professionals recently gained access to patient health information found in Alberta's electronic health record system.

Increased Insurance Premiums Approved

After months of debate, German Health Minister Phillip Roesler's plans for health care system reform have been approved to start in 2011.

New Head of IQWiG Sets Out Ambitious Agenda

Medical doctor and professor Jurgen Windeler was recently appointed as the new director of Germany's Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care.

Edith Schippers Appointed New Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare, and Sport

Edith Schippers was appointed new Dutch Minister of Health, Welfare, and Sport, replacing former Minister Ab Klink.

Court Ends Dutch Hospital Budget Restriction

A September court ruling put an end to budget restrictions that were used to limit hospital expenditures in the Netherlands.

New Zealand Health Minister Rejects Supplemental Coverage for Chemotherapy

New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall declined "Bridging the Gap," the Southern District Health Board's proposal to allow patients in Otago and Southland to receive self-funded chemotherapy treatment for drugs not currently funded by PHARMAC, the New Zealand government body responsible for managing pharmaceuticals in the public health system.

Models for U.S. Health Care

Recent Commonwealth Fund–supported studies published in the professional literature offer lessons and models from other nations for the U.S. health care system.