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First newsletter from the EU project Magnet4Europe

22.03.2021: The first newsletter from the EU project Magnet4Europe was published on 19.03.2021. Reports on the International Learning Collaboratives, experiences of hospitals with the twinning process, the first Magnet® hospital in England and much more can be read in the newsletter. 

Subscription to the newsletter is possible here: http://www.magnet4europe.eu/contact.html.

The posts can also be read on the project page at http://www.magnet4europe.eu/news--events.

Special issue on Covid-19 policy responses across Europe

03.11.2020: The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies has just published a special issue of its journal, Eurohealth, in collaboration with WHO/Europe and the European Commission. This issues draws on data from the COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor to examine health system responses to COVID-19 across Europe.

This special issue includes perspectives on the pandemic by WHO/Europe and the European Commission as well as lessons from the first wave, health system resilience, responding to the economic crisis, and translating evidence into policy. Additionally, this Eurohealth provides analyses of the challenges, progress and lessons with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic under the following headings:

  • Preventing transmission
  • Ensuring sufficient workforce capacity
  • Providing health services effectively
  • Paying for services
  • Governance

The Observatory’s Health Systems Policy Monitor (HSPM) network which includes the whole European Union, the WHO country offices and other experts have together managed to cover almost every country in the European region during the pandemic. Thanks are also due to the Observatory staff team, many of whom are based at the Department of Health Care Management, TU Berlin.

African Health Observatory – Platform on Health Systems and Policies (AHOP)

21.01.2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO) in Brazzaville, Congo, has hosted the kick-off meeting of the African Health Observatory – Platform on Health Systems and Policies (AHOP). AHOP is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and is modelled after the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (OBS) as well as other similar regional health observatories. The Department of Health Care Management (MiG) was represented at the meeting by Dr. Daniel Opoku and PD. Dr. Wilm Quentin.

The African Health Observatory (AHO) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) will work collaboratively with five carefully selected National Centres of AHOP from Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal and Ethiopia to help strengthen the knowledge repository of the WHO AFRO through comprehensive and rigorous analysis of the dynamics of health care systems in Africa in order to inform policies necessary for transforming African health systems.

The Department of Health Care Management will support the European Observatory to adjust the OBS Health System in Transition (HiT) template and provide technical support for AHOP in the adaption of OBS country monitoring tools for the WHO African Region.

2020-21 German Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice

02.12.2019: The Commonwealth Fund is pleased to invite you to nominate a candidate for the 2020-21 German Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy and Practice. Established in 1925, the Harkness Fellowships were modeled after the Rhodes Scholarships and aim to produce the next generation of health policy leaders in participating countries.

While all interested applicants are welcome to apply, we encourage nominations and appreciate your taking the time to identify potential applicants for this prestigious Fellowship program.

The deadline for receipt of applications from Germany has been extended to January 8, 2020 to ensure that anyone who is interested has the opportunity to apply.

Please email Robin Osborn, director of the Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice, at as soon as possible, and application materials will be emailed directly.

About the Fellowship

The Commonwealth Fund invites promising mid-career professionals—government policymakers, academic researchers, clinical leaders, hospital and insurance managers, and journalists—from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom—to apply for a unique opportunity to spend up to 12 months in the United States as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice.

Fellows are placed with mentors who are leading U.S. experts at organizations such as Harvard University, Stanford University, Kaiser Permanente, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to study issues relevant to the Fund’s mission to support a high performing health care system ─ insurance coverage, access, and affordability; health care delivery system reforms (e.g. bundled payments, accountable care organizations, innovative approaches to care for high need/high cost patients, new primary care models for low income patients); addressing social determinants to improve health and care for vulnerable populations; cost containment; and other critical issues on the health policy agenda in both the U.S. and their home countries.

Digital Therapeutics: Regulatory Authorization, Insurance Coverage, and Provider Adoption in the United States

08.07.2019: This seminar will describe how digital therapeutics are navigating through FDA review, insurer coverage decision-making, and physician prescription in the United States, using examples of solutions pioneered in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley digital ecosystem.  Seminar participants will be invited to compare these US trends with those in Germany and the EU.  The seminar will be led by:  

Kim MacPherson MBA/MPH, Executive Director, Health Management at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business and School of Public Health

James Robinson PhD/MPH, Leonard D. Schaeffer Professor of Health Economics and Director of the Berkeley Center for Health Technology​

29. Juli, 15:00 -17:00, Raum H006 TU Berlin (Hörsaal im Erdgeschoss).

A researcher at the department, will participate in the Fraunhofer Venture AHEAD program as part of team PeriPower

28.03.2019: Erin Webb, a researcher at the department, will participate in the Fraunhofer Venture AHEAD program as part of team PeriPower to tackle the problem of urinary incontinence, which affects over 200 million people worldwide. PeriPower originated at the Hacking Female Health event in November 2018, where it won first prize and became eligibile for AHEAD. PeriPower notifies nurses or caregivers in real-time when a patient has an incontinent episode using sensor technology in order to increase patient dignity and quality of life. As urinary incontinence is a leading risk factor for falls, urinary tract infections, and pressure ulcers, PeriPower has the potential to reduce health system expenditures, as pressure ulcers alone cost the German health care system up to 2.3 billion euros annually.​

Successful 15th jubilee year

12.01.2018: The TU Berlin Department of Health Care Management, founded in 2002, had a very successful jubilee year 2017. It acquired grants from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the German Research Association (DFG), the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG) and others. The DAAD money serves to set up a new master programme for health systems research and management at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science in Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi/ Ghana; the DFG supports the department’s work to analyse the quality of German hospital care; and the Ministry is financing to explore options to set up a system for a performance assessment of the German health system. The latter project builds upon work done in the current Berlin Centre for Health Economics Research (BerlinHECOR), which is financed by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research until 2020, directed by Prof. Busse and coordinated by Dr. Cornelia Henschke. Other externally funded projects were finalized in 2017, e.g. the EU-funded project “Munros” analysing the impact of new health professions upon health systems and patient care.

In respect to qualifying staff, the department was equally successful: In July, Dr. Wilm Quentin received his venia legendi for Public Health. Dr. Julia Röttger, Dr. Verena Vogt, Dr. Christoph Pross, Dr. Britta Olberg, Dr. Patricia Ex, Dr. Britta Zander and Dr. Claudia Maier finished their PhD theses and received a “magna cum laude” or even a “summa cum laude” in public health or economics. Dr. Dimitra Panteli (with a Harness fellowship awarded by the Commonwealth Fund) and Dr. Vogt spent extended research periods in Washington DC and Sydney respectively.

Highlights among the publication activity were (i) an extended article on the history, development and assessment of the German health system published in the Lancet (Impact Factor 47.8), (ii) an analysis mobile phone-based health interventions for non-communicable disease management in Africa, published in BMC Medicine (IF 8.1) and resulting from Dr. Quentin’s group, and (iii) a comparison of quality assurance measures in five countries, published in Milbank Quarterly (IF 4.9) by the group led by Dr. Alexander Geissler. Other articles were published in “Value in Health”, “Social Science and Medicine”, “Health Research Policy and Systems”, “Health Policy” and other journals. The leading German-language textbook on health care management, edited by Prof. Busse was published in its fourth edition in October.

The close interaction and cooperation with actors from health policy and health care has remained high on the department’s list of priorities. In 2017, department staff, coordinated by Dr. Ewout van Ginneken, worked closely with other colleagues from the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and the OECD to develop, write and publish the 28 “State of Health” country profiles for the European Commission’s DG Santé.

The Lancet recognized Prof. Busse’s leading role in health system development and research with a full-page portrait in August. In September, Germany’s leading daily newspaper, the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, ranked Prof. Busse on its list of the 100 most influential German-language economists at number 8, thus giving him the leading role in health economics.

Public lecture and panel discussion on 9th October, 17:30-19:00: Big data for better outcomes in healthcare

05.10.2017: The big data promises transformational potential for healthcare through data-driven improvements in research & development, care delivery, and policy-making. As health systems around the world routinely collect a wealth of data every day, we are facing the question: how can we use big data to improve patients's live? In a public lecture, Dr Jem Rashbass (National Director Disease Registration and Cancer Analysis at Public Health England) will outline how health systems can turn big data into information.A high-profile panel will comment on how this information can be put to use, implications of big data for healthcare system transformation, and patients' perspectives on the collection and use of highly personal data. Detailed information

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) is looking for interns in Kyrgyzstan

24.08.2017: The GIZ Programme „Promotion of Perinatal Health in Kyrgyzstan” offers a six month paid internship for public health or medical sciences graduates (01.10.2017 - 31.03.2018) in Kyrgszstan. For more details see: link.

Hacking Global Health - Improving Urban Health in Africa, Asia and Latin America

27.07.2017: On October 15-17, KfW Development Bank will organize a hackathon in Berlin in cooperation with the World Health Summit (WHS). Small and multi-disciplinary teams will create and develop ideas on how to improve urban health in Africa, Asia and Latin America and present these to an audience of experts from all over the world.

The winning team will receive a complementary one year membership in the German Healthcare Partnership (GHP) and the possibility to present their idea to the GHP network.

Furthermore, the winning team as well as the two runner-ups will have their idea published on the WHS and the KfW website. In addition, they will participate at the award ceremony and present the idea to the World Health Summit´s participants and get access to experts for further support. Each participant, including one additional companion, will have free access to the World Health Summit and its program. Travel expenses and accommodation are the sole responsibility of the participants.

More information

Successful project kick-off meeting starts a cooperation with the School of Public Health at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana


01.06.2017: A new DAAD funded project “Capacity building in health systems research and management in Ghana“ was launched in the week from 15th to 22nd May 2017 with a workshop held at the Technical University (TU) Berlin. Four researchers from Ghana together with six researchers from MIG jointly discussed how to set up a new Masters programme in “Health Systems Research and Management” in Ghana. The curriculum of the new Masters programme will be based upon on existing course modules taught at TU Berlin and at KNUST. Furthermore, teaching materials will be adjusted and new courses modules will be offered.

In addition to the establishment of a Master’s programme, the four-year project aims to create a platform for researchers, students, alumni, and policy-makers to engage in dialogues about the future development of the health system in Ghana. In October 2017, six researchers from MIG will fly to Ghana for the second curriculum development workshop.

New publication: Task shifting from physicians to nurses in primary care in 39 countries

09.08.2016: As part of the Harkness fellowship in healthcare research and practice, Claudia B Maier, researcher at the Department of Healthcare Management TU Berlin, has conducted a cross-country comparative study on task shifting from physicians to nurses and related policy reforms in 39 countries (36 countries in Europe and the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand). The results show that task shifting has been implemented in two thirds of the countries studied, albeit the extent varied. In these countries, certain activities can officially be performed by pre-defined groups of nurses (with additional education).

The study analysed the following clinical activities, traditionally reserved to the medical profession:

  • Prescribing of medicines, 
  • Ordering of tests/exams,
  • Diagnoses/advanced health assessments, 
  • Treatment decisions, 
  • Referrals (e.g. to hospitals, other health professions), 
  • Panel of patients, 
  • First point of contact 

Implications on policy  and practice: A high number of countries have immplemented educational (often at universities) and regulatory reforms to legally and officially authorise expanded practice to nurses and implement task shifting in practice. 

Overall, an international trend has emerged where nursing education and practice is expanding and authorizing new roles and responsibilities for nurses, often at the interface to medicine. In practice, task shifting and expanded scope-of-practice is usually carried out in close collaboration with the respective family and/or specialty physicians.

The study was published in The European Journal of Public Health www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27485719

Call for papers: Integrated care for people living with multi-morbidity in Health Policy.

New article The iMpact on practice, oUtcomes and costs of New roles for health pROfeSsionals: a study protocol for MUNROS has been published in BMJ Open.

29.04.2016: The size and composition of the European Union healthcare workforce are key drivers of expenditure and performance; it now includes new health professions and enhanced roles for established professions. This project will systematically analyse how this has contributed to health service redesign, integration and performance in 9 European countries (Scotland, England, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, and Turkeyi). This paper describes the protocol for collection of survey data in 3 distinct care pathways, and sets it in the context of the wider programme.

A new Health System in Transition (HiT) Review on Switzerland

03.12.2015: A new Health System in Transition (HiT) Review on Switzerland was launched on 1st December at Bern in Switzerland in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

Life expectancy in Switzerland (82.8 years) is the highest in Europe after Iceland. The Swiss health system offers a high degree of choice and direct access to all levels of care with virtually no waiting times. As this new review of Swiss health care makes clear, public satisfaction with the system is high and quality is generally viewed to be good or very good. Despite this positive assessment a number of challenges remain. In particular, improving financial protection and fairness of financing is becoming important because rising premiums and an exceptionally high share of out-of-pocket payments place an increasingly large financial burden on households with lower and middle incomes.

On Monday a new EU project has started: SELFIE!

03.09.2015: Over 50 million people in Europe have more than one chronic disease. This number will increase dramatically in the near future. This will increase health care spending to a staggering 20% of GDP. Multi-morbidity becomes the number one threat to population health and economic sustainability of health care systems. New models of care for multi-morbid patients are urgently needed. Given the diversity of Europe’s health and social care systems there is no single model that fits them all.

SELFIE aims to improve patient-centred care for patients with multi-morbidity by proposing evidence-based, economically sustainable integrated chronic care (ICC) models that stimulate cooperation across health and social care sectors and are supported by appropriate financing/payment schemes. SELFIE specifically focuses on multi-morbidity, on generating empirical evidence of the impact of ICC and on financing/payment schemes. It is methodologically innovative by applying Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis.

SELFIE develops 5 end-results that are adjustable to different care systems in Europe, including CEE:
1. A taxonomy of most promising ICC models for patients with multi-morbidity; this taxonomy includes a “toolkit” of interventions that policy makers can use to build an ICC model that best fits into their own health and social care system
2. A detailed list of options for different financing/payment schemes to support the implementation of ICC for multi-morbidity
3. A technical document on price-setting of ICC models for patients with multi-morbidity
4. A performance assessment tool to monitor goal achievement; this tool includes new indicators that specifically address the quality of care for patients with multi-morbidity
5. Strategies for implementation and change management

Patients, informal and professional caregivers, payers and policy makers are involved right from the beginning to ensure that SELFIE addresses the right questions and pave the pathway for implementation.















United Kingdom





Professor Busse in Edmonton: What can Alberta learn from Europe?

28.02.2015: The health system in the Canadian province of Alberta is experiencing the pressure of financial constraints due to the falling oil prices. Therefore, there is a urgent need to review how Alberta finances health care to improve value, achieve better quality, and slow cost growth. There is need in Alberta for capacity in applied economics knowledge to enhance economic surveillance that is independent from government but supports ongoing provincial development of the organizational and incentive structures for funding the health service delivery system. There is also the need to critically appraise and regularly evaluate the impacts of funding systems on the behavior and performance of organizations and individuals to support phased implementation of funding reforms. Professor Busse has therefore been appointed by the Edmonton-based Institute of Health Economics to serve on its Expert Advisory Committee. As part of his advisory capacity, he gave a public lecture on “Health system reforms in times of constraint: experiences from Europe”. The entire presentation can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzgnAENlovo&feature=youtu.be

Keynote address at Patient Classification Systems International (PCSI) conference in Doha

22.10.2014: On October 21, Professor Reinhard Busse gave a keynote address at PCSI's 30th annual conference at Doha/Qatar. He addressed the important issue of "DRGs: Are hospitals paid for what they do - or do they do for what they are paid? And why patients should care about it". He looked back at his more than 10-year experience with working on diagnosis-related Groups (DRGs), especially utilizing the data from the EuroDRG project, which he led (www.eurodrg.eu). In that project, he looked both at the classification criteria for 10 "episodes of care" across 10 countries (which criteria are for classifying patients? how much do the weights given to the different DRGs vary?) as well as actual patient-level data to see what hospitals have done with patients being admitted for these episodes of care (including questions such as: have hospitals done more procedures if these were better paid?).

He concluded that, while it is the intention of DRG systems to pay hospitals for what they do, the cost explanation power of DRGs is quite weak on individual level – and more DRG groups are not necessarily better. He also asked why classification criteria are so different across countries if effects on costs are often similar? Regarding the second part of the question, "or do they do for what they are paid?", he concluded that at least for certain indications, this seems to be the case. This may be viewed negatively but could also be interpreted promising for pay-for-quality schemes as hospitals do react to financial incentives. However, in his view, DRG systems should move away from primarily incentivizing certain procedures and instead re-emphasize the diagnosis component (e.g. by classifying hip arthrosis patients not by the type of procedure but the degree of functional impairment), and combining this with outcomes (in this example, the functional improvement).

An article on the opening ceremony of the PCSI conference can be found here:


The PowerPoint slides of his presentation can be found here:


New “Health Systems in Transition” profile on Germany published

06.08.2014: The European Observatory on Health Systems has just released a new version of the report on Germany, looking at the German health system at an interesting pint in time: Almost 25 years have elapsed since the fall of the Berlin wall and German reunification. Since then various governments have implemented a number of important reforms in the health sector, including changes in self-governing structures, financing the statutory health insurance system, paying providers and assessing and reimbursing pharmaceuticals.

Today the German health care system has a generous benefit basket, one of the highest levels of capacity as well as modest cost-sharing. Expenditure per capita is high and access is good. However, the German health care system also shows areas in need of improvement if compared with other countries. This is demonstrated by the low satisfaction figures with the health system in general and a lack in quality of care, if the outcomes of individual illnesses are analyzed.

This more than 300-page health system review on Germany scrutinizes changes and reforms that have taken place since the last report published in 2005 and discusses challenges for the new government in power since the end of 2013.

The report can be downloaded HERE.

ICARE4EU—Important progress and challenges ahead

28.04.2014: The ICARE4EU project wants to improve the care of people suffering from multiple chronic conditions. It will describe, analyse, and identify innovative integrated care models for people with multimorbidity in 31 European countries, and aims to contribute to more effective implementation of such models. During the project (from 2013 to mid 2016), members of the ICARE4EU consortium will keep readers of The BMJ informed about project developments. 

Since our last post, written by my NIVEL colleague Daphne Jansen, the ICARE4EU project has picked up steam and is entering a crucial phase. Earlier this year we finalised our questionnaires, tested them, translated them into 11 languages, and validated them. The questionnaires focus on a country’s policy or strategies regarding integrated chronic illness care—multimorbidity management in particular—and several relevant characteristics of integrated care programmes, such as their patient centeredness, use of e-health technology, management practices and professional competencies, and financing systems. Each project partner has specific expertise on one of these areas. Our team at the Berlin University of Technology, for example, will focus on financing.

See full article

Invitation: Guest lecture by Dr. Vittal Mogasale from the International Vaccine Institute | Monday October 21st 11.30-12.30 at MiG

Wednesday, 16. October 2013

On Monday, 21 October, our guest Dr. Vittal Mogasale will present his latest research on "Oral cholera vaccines to control endemic disease: an economic and epidemiological modelling analysis" from 11.30 to 12.30 at our department.

We warmly invite everyone to come and listen to his talk and perhaps participate in a lively discussion on current political and economic challenges regarding vaccines. Dr. Mogasale is a researcher at the International Vaccine Institute located in Seoul, South Korea.

For further information please refer to Dr. Vittal's CV and abstract  .



Just published: Latvia Health System Review

25.03.2013: Working with colleagues from Latvia, Wilm Quentin, research fellow at the Department of Health Care Management, has just published a new The European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies has just published a new HiT (Health Systems in Transition) health system review for Latvia. HiT health system reviews are country-based reports published by the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and provide a detailed description of a country’s health system and of reform and policy initiatives in progress or under development. All HiT profiles are available for download at the Observatory’s website (www.healthobservatory.eu).

The European Observatory is a partnership between the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, the Governments of Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the Veneto Region of Italy, The European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, UNCAM (French National Union of Health Insurance Funds), the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). The department of health care management is one of the Observatory’s research hubs.

The Latvian health system, based on general tax-financed statutory health care provision, provides coverage to the entire population and access to a basic service package, but still leaves patients exposed to substantial user charges and direct payments. The financial crisis means the government faces a huge struggle to prevent deterioration of the health status.  Important reforms such as moving service provision away from hospital care, and increasing provision of ambulatory care have been implemented successfully, along with a social safety net to protect the poor from the negative consequences of user charges. But the lack of financial resources poses the main challenge, and an increase in public expenditure is needed to ensure adequate funding of the health service.

MiG celebrates ten successful years


10.01.2013: In 2012, the Department of Health Care Management celebrated its 10-year anniversary. Highlights of the year included the anniversary ceremony on July 12th attended by the President of the TU (program), the launch of the Health Economics Center Berlin on July 1st, which is one of four such centers in Germany (BerlinHECOR), and the appointment of Leonie Sundmacher to the position of Junior Professor on April 1st. It was also a strong year for publications (including a supplement in the prestigious journal Health Economics) and presentations, with lectures on the results of the EuroDRG project being held in Brussels, Vancouver, Milan, Moscow, London, Seoul, Oslo, Chisinau, Orlando, Dublin, Zurich, Ankara, and Riga.

Scientists and researchers of the department published in several leading international journals, in addition to Health Economics, in the anniversary year. Publications included The New England Journal of Medicine (with an impact factor [IF] of 53.3), British Medical Journal (IF 14.1), BMC Medicine (IF 6.0), Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology (IF 4.1), Value in Health (IF 2.2), Health Economics (IF 2.1), International Journal of Quality in Health Care (IF 2.0), Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery (IF 1.8), Health Policy (IF 1.5), and The European Journal of Health Economics (IF 1.5). The impact factor is an indicator of the average number of citations a journal receives per paper over a two year period.

MiG teaching rated as excellent

25.04.2012: The revised module "Management in Health Care: Health Insurance/Provider" received a 8.88 out of 10, the best rating of all "small" courses (less than 70 participants), in the 2011/12 winter semester student evaluations. The course ranked third overall.
(Ranking Evaluation link PDF).

Health advisory group established

14.03.2012: Minister for Health in the Government of Ireland Dr James Reilly has set up a group to advise the Government on the establishment of a system of universal health insurance. Dr Reilly said the group would play a “pivotal role” in supporting the Government to deliver on its commitment to introduce a single-tier health system supported by universal health insurance.

Its role will be to develop detailed plans for universal health insurance and it will also be tasked with driving the implementation of other elements of the Government’s health reform programme. The membership of the group includes individuals who hold executive roles in the health service, as well as external experts. It also includes Prof Reinhard Busse an international expert working with the world Health Organisation, the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.



Master Thesis in collaboration with Siemens Corporate Technology and Siemens Healthcare

07.03.2012: Have you almost completed your studies and are preparing your master thesis? If you are interested in preparing your master thesis in collaboration with Siemens, you are welcome to send your application to the contact person listed below.

With the great experience and knowledge within a wide range of areas, Siemens offers an excellent opportunity for co-operation on your master's thesis including a payment and the opportunity to spend a research period at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Berkeley.

Closing date for applications: 15.04.2012

Please send your application to:

Here you can find more details!

Special Issue of the academic journal Health Policy

31.01.2012: Call for submission for a Special Issue of the academic journal Health Policy: Geographic variation in health care – 40 years of “small-area variation”.

17. November 2011: EuroDRG final conference

22.11.2011: At the EuroDRG final conference, which was held in Berlin, 17 November 2011, the main results of the EuroDRG research project were presented and discussed with policy-makers, researchers and stakeholders from Europe and beyond. During this conference, the book 'Diagnosis-Related Groups in Europe - Moving towards transparency, efficiency and quality in hospitals' was officially launched. The book is intended to contribute to the emergence of a `common language' that will facilitate communication between researchers and policy-makers interested in improving the functioning and resourcing of the acute hospital sector.

Just Published: Slovakia Health System Review

03.05.2011: European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies
The Slovak health system is a system in progress. Major health reform in the period 2002-2006 introduced a new approach based on managed competition. Although large improvements have been made since the 1990s (for example in life expectancy and infant mortality), health outcomes are generally still substantially worse than the average for the EU15 but close to the other Visegrád Four countries.The challenges posed by an ageing workforce and professional migration may lead to a shortage of health care workers. Slovakia has a progressive system of financing health care. However, the health reforms of 2002-2006 led to an increase in the number of households that contributed more from their income and the distributive impacts were not equitable. This was mainly caused by the introduction of a reference pricing scheme for pharmaceuticals. Some key challenges remain: improving the health status of the population and the quality of care while securing the future financial sustainability of the system. The HiT was edited and co-authored by Ewout van Ginneken from the Department of Health Care Management at TU Berlin.

HiTs are country-based reports that provide a detailed description of each health care system and of reform and policy initiatives in progress or under development.

Full text of the HiT
European Observatory press note

New study: Costs of delivering HPV vaccines to school girls in Mwanza, Tanzania

03.11.2010: Cervical cancer is the second most frequent cancer in women worldwide and is responsible for an estimated 493,000 cases and 274,000 deaths annually (Parkin et al. 2005). Vaccination against Human papillomaviruses (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus which is the primary cause of cervical cancers, offers a new opportunity to control this disease (Bonnani et al. 2009). However, for purposes of planning and financing governments need information about the costs and cost-effectiveness of the intervention prior to a decision about introducing and scaling-up a national HPV vaccination program.
This study estimates the cost of two alternative school-based HPV vaccination delivery strategies in Mwanza, Tanzania. Cost data is collated from multiple sources of information including (1) project accounts at Mwanza Intervention Trials Unit (MITU), (2) observations of intervention implementation, and (3) interviews with project staff. Total costs of a district vaccination programme and cost per urban school and rural school reached (if urban/rural differences are identified) and cost per fully-vaccinated girl are estimated for the two alternative delivery strategies.
The study models the likely costs to roll-out HPV vaccination across Mwanza Region, providing policymakers with guidance on the potential costs of HPV vaccine delivery at scale. In addition, results of the study will feed into an economic evaluation model that will estimate the longer term cost-effectiveness of HPV vaccination in the region.

New publication: Determinants of hospital costs and performance variation: Methods, models and variables for the EuroDRG project

14.07.2010: Empirical studies of variation in hospital costs fall into two camps: those based on analysis of the costs of individual patients and those - the vast majority - that analyse costs reported at the hospital level. In this review, we consider how patient-level and hospital-level data are related and outline approaches to analyzing them. The second part of the review considers general specification choices and methods of efficiency analysis. Moreover, we specify a model to be used in the empirical analyses of the EuroDRG project. More...

Best Student Poster

10.06.2010: Dimitra Panteli won the "Best Student Poster" award at the 7th Annual HTAi Meeting in Dublin (6-9 June 2010). The topic was "Equity and Health Technology Assessment: A Systematic Review of the Literature" and the authors were D. Panteli, A. Zentner and R. Busse.


New book on tackling chronic diseases launched

01.05.2010: Chronic conditions and diseases are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in Europe, accounting for 86% of total premature deaths. The epidemiologic and economic analyses in this book, which Professor Busse launched at the 2nd International Forum on Chronic Disease in Lisbon, suggest that policy-makers should make chronic disease a priority. This book highlights the main issues and focuses on the strategies and interventions that policy-makers have at their disposal to tackle this increasing challenge.
Full text of the book

Launch of the 2010 health system review on the Netherlands

08.04.2010: The Observatory on Health Systems and Policies launched the long awaited health system review on the Netherlands at the Working Conference on Health Services Research in Europe in The Hague. The HiT was produced in close collaboration with the Dutch Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and supported by the Dutch Ministry of Health. It was edited by Ewout van Ginneken from the Department of Health Care Management at TU Berlin.
Full text of the HiT
European Observatory Press note

2010 Summer School of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies - register now!

12.02.2010: The Summer School 2010 will look at the influence of European integration and regulation on health systems, and the opportunities and challenges that this creates for patients, professionals and policy-makers. It will explore different EU policy fields to identify links with health and assess their impact on health systems. The course will distinguish between policies that ‘directly’ and ‘indirectly’ relate to health policy, such as patient rights, patient mobility; professional education and movement; pharmaceutical licensing and evaluation; procurement of goods and services.


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