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This systematic review aimed to identify criteria being used for priority setting for resource allocation decisions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Furthermore, the included studies were analyzed from a policy perspective to understand priority setting processes in these countries.
Searches were carried out in PubMed, Embase, Econlit, and Cochrane databases, supplemented with pre-identified Web sites and bibliographic searches of relevant papers. Quality appraisal of included studies was undertaken. The review protocol is registered in International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews PROSPERO CRD42017068371.
Of 16,412 records screened by title and abstract, 112 papers were identified for full text screening and 44 studies were included in the final analysis. At an overall level, cost-effectiveness 52 percent (n = 22) and health benefits 45 percent (n = 19) were the most cited criteria used for priority setting for public health resource allocation. Inter-region (LMICs) and between various approaches (like health technology assessment, multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), accountability for reasonableness (AFR) variations among criteria were also noted. Our review found that MCDA approach was more frequently used in upper middle-income countries and AFR in lower-income countries for priority setting in health. Policy makers were the most frequently consulted stakeholders in all regions.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Priority-setting criteria for health resource allocation decisions in LMICs largely comprised of cost-effectiveness and health benefits criteria at overall level. Other criteria like legal and regulatory framework conducive for implementation, fairness/ethics, and political considerations were infrequently reported and should be considered.
In recent years, there has been an explosive increase in the demand for health products and services by people all around the globe, and particularly in advanced economies. Aiming to enhance longevity and also to improve quality of life, individual consumption of pharmaceutical products and services has risen exponentially since the early 1980s. This paper develops a model in which agents invest part of their resources in medical products and time in physical exercise to enhance their health status. In the first part of the paper, we study the steady state and transitional dynamics of the model with special emphasis on the effects of health decisions on aggregate outcomes. In the second part, we explore how public health policies may alter private economic decisions that promote healthier and more productive lives.
The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) is not only an important indicator of maternal and infant safety, but also a sign of the development of economy, education, and medical care in a country. In the last 60 years, the Chinese government has implemented various strategies and policies to reduce the MMR, especially in the rural areas.
This study aimed to discuss the strategies developed by the Chinese government, showing the successful experience of Chinese intervention programs and highlighting the challenges to the government in the context of current economic and social status.
This study probed into the Chinese government’s efforts and achievements in the MMR reducing by reviewing the relevant health policies, extracting the data from China Health Statistics Yearbook of 2015, analyzing the reduction of maternal death in rural areas and the major causes from 1991 to 2015, comparing the MMR trend in urban and rural areas, and discussing the changes of the situation in China.
Although it seems that Chinese government’s efforts have brought evangel to the rural pregnant women and significantly reduced rural maternal mortality, the government still needs to develop more equitable and flexible primary health care policies to narrow the imbalance in health resource allocation and pay more attention to the health care for the rural-to-urban migration in China.
Disaster-related research funding in the United States has not been described. This study characterizes Federal funding for disaster-related research for 5 professional disciplines: medicine, public health, social science, engineering, emergency management.
An online key word search was performed using the website, www.USAspending.gov, to identify federal awards, grants, and contracts during 2011–2016. A panel of experts then reviewed each entry for inclusion.
The search identified 9145 entries, of which 262 (3%) met inclusion criteria. Over 6 years, the Federal Government awarded US $69 325 130 for all disaster-related research. Total funding levels quadrupled in the first 3 years and then halved in the last 3 years. Half of the funding was for engineering, 3 times higher than social sciences and emergency management and 5 times higher than public health and medicine. Ten (11%) institutions received 52% of all funding. The search returned entries for only 12 of the 35 pre-identified disaster-related capabilities; 6 of 12 capabilities appear to have received no funding for at least 2 years.
US federal funding for disaster-related research is limited and highly variable during 2011–2016. There are no clear reasons for apportionment. There appears to be an absence of prioritization. There does not appear to be a strategy for alignment of research with national disaster policies.
There has been little research on the health consequences of evacuation in the disaster context. A comparative analysis of survival between evacuated and nonevacuated hospital dialysis patients was conducted following Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant incident, which occurred on March 11, 2011.
The study included 554 patients (mean age: 70.9) receiving dialysis therapy at one of the Tokiwakai Group hospitals—all of which are located in and around Iwaki City, approximately 50 km from the Fukushima nuclear plant—as of the incident date. The patients’ survival after the incident was tracked until March 3, 2017. Significant differences in mortality rates between postincident evacuees and nonevacuees were tested using the Bayesian survival analysis with Weibull multivariate regression.
Out of 554 dialysis patients, 418 (75.5%) were evacuated after the incident. The postincident mortality rate (adjusted for covariates) of evacuees was not statistically significantly different from that of nonevacuees. The hazard ratio was 1.17 (95% credible intervals: 0.77-1.74).
If performed in a well-planned manner with satisfactory arrangements for appropriate selection of evacuees and their transportation, evacuation could be a reasonable option, which might save more lives of vulnerable people.
Discussions at the Health Technology Assessment International (HTAi) Asia Policy Forum (HAPF) aimed to understand the meaning of “high-cost technologies,” and to explore mechanisms to increase access to these technologies in publicly funded health systems in the Asia region.
Discussions and presentations at the 2018 HAPF, informed by a literature review and a premeeting survey of HTA agencies and industry, form the basis of this paper.
Challenges payers in the public health system face when investing in high-cost technologies include a lack of data, especially real-world data, affordability, and the budgetary impact of high-cost technologies. Managed entry schemes (MES) are one means to enable earlier access to high-cost technologies, or at reduced cost to the system. Most countries surveyed had used an MES to introduce a new health technology and most industry representatives had experience with financial-based MES, such as discounts or rebates, with most put in place to increase access to pharmaceuticals. Little experience of outcome-based or evidence-generation MES was reported.
Although it is early days in the implementation of MES in Asia, they have the potential to play an important role enabling access to new, mainly pharmaceutical, health technologies. The development of a “road map” of MES in the region should outline the intent and need for a MES, articulating the “rules of engagement” for all stakeholders—patients, providers, payers, and industry—which will assist countries to clearly identify the problem trying to be solved, and how an MES can be part of the solution.
To examine key factors influencing the prioritisation of food and nutrition in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy during 1996–2015.
A qualitative policy analysis case study was undertaken, combining document analysis with thematic analysis of key informant interviews.
Key actors involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy between 1996 and 2015 (n 38).
Prioritisation of food and nutrition in policy reduced over time. Several factors which may have impeded the prioritisation of nutrition were identified. These included lack of cohesion among the community of nutritionists, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and civil society actors advocating for nutrition; the absence of an institutional home for nutrition policy; and lack of consensus and a compelling policy narrative about how priority nutrition issues should be addressed. Political factors including ideology, dismantling of public health nutrition governance structures and missing the opportunities presented by ‘policy windows’ were also viewed as barriers to nutrition policy change. Finally, the complexity and multifaceted nature of nutrition as a policy problem and perceived lack of evidence-based solutions may also have constrained its prioritisation in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health policy.
Future advocacy should focus on embedding nutrition within holistic approaches to health and building a collective voice through advocacy coalitions with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership. Strategic communication and seizing political opportunities may be as important as evidence for raising the priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health issues.
Public involvement in service change has been identified as a key facilitator of health care transformation (Foley et al., 2017) but little is known about how health policy influences whether and how organisations involve the public in change processes. This qualitative study compares policy and practice for involving the public in major service changes across the UK's four health systems (England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland). We analysed policy documents, and conducted interviews with officials, stakeholders, NHS staff and public campaigners (total number of interviewees = 47). Involving the public in major service change was acknowledged as a policy challenge in all four systems. Despite ostensible similarities, there were some clear differences between the four health systems' processes for involving patients and the public in major changes to health services. The extent of central Government oversight, the prescriptiveness of Government guidance, the role for intermediary bodies and arrangements for independent scrutiny of contentious decisions all vary. We analyse how health policy in the four systems has used ‘sticks’ and ‘sermons’ to promote particular approaches, and conclude that both policy and the wider system context within which health care organisations try to effect change are significant, and understudied aspect of contemporary practice.
Health technology assessments (HTAs) are used as a policy tool to appraise the clinical value, or cost effectiveness, of new medicines to inform reimbursement decisions in health care. As HTA organisations have been established in different countries, it has become clear that the outcomes of medicine appraisals can vary from country to country, even though the same scientific evidence in the form of randomised controlled trials is available. The extant literature explains such variations with reference to institutional variables and administrative rules. However, little research has been conducted to advance the theoretical understanding of how variations in HTA outcomes might be explained. This paper compares cases of HTA in England and Germany using insights from Kuhn (1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd edn. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press) and Hall (1993, Policy paradigms, social learning, and the state: the case of economic policymaking in Britain. Comparative Politics 25, 275–296) to demonstrate how policy paradigms can explain the outcomes of HTA processes. The paper finds that HTA outcomes are influenced by a combination of logical issues that require reasoning within a paradigm, and institutional and political issues that speak to the interaction between ideational and interest-based variables. It sets out an approach that advances the theoretical explanation of divergent HTA outcomes, and offers an analytical basis on which to assess current and future policy changes in HTA.
Antimicrobial resistance is a major health threat worldwide as it brings about poorer treatment outcome and places economic burden to the society. This study aims to estimate the annual relative increased in inpatient mortality from antimicrobial resistant (AMR) nosocomial infections (NI) in Thailand. A retrospective cohort study was conducted at Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand, over 2008–2012. Survival model was used to estimate the hazard ratio of mortality of AMR relative to those patients without resistance (non-AMR) after controlling for nine potential confounders. The majority of NI (73.80%) were caused by AMR bacteria over the study period. Patients in the AMR and non-AMR groups had similar baseline clinical characteristics. Relative to patients in the non-AMR group, the expected hazard ratios of mortality for patients in the AMR group with Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus were 1.92 (95% CI 0.10–35.52), 1.25 (95% CI 0.08–20.29), 1.60 (95% CI 0.13–19.10) and 1.84 (95% CI 0.04–95.58), respectively. In the complete absence of AMR bacteria, this study estimated that annually, in Thailand, there would be 111 295 fewer AMR cases and 48 258 fewer deaths.
Procurement's important role in healthcare decision making has encouraged criticism and calls for greater collaboration with health technology assessment (HTA), and necessitates detailed analysis of how procurement approaches the decision task.
We reviewed tender documents that solicit medical technologies for patient care in Canada, focusing on request for proposal (RFP) tenders that assess quality and cost, supplemented by a census of all tender types. We extracted data to assess (i) use of group purchasing organizations (GPOs) as buyers, (ii) evaluation criteria and rubrics, and (iii) contract terms, as indicators of supplier type and market conditions.
GPOs were dominant buyers for RFPs (54/97) and all tender types (120/226), and RFPs were the most common tender (92/226), with few price-only tenders (11/226). Evaluation criteria for quality were technical, including clinical or material specifications, as well as vendor experience and qualifications; “total cost” was frequently referenced (83/97), but inconsistently used. The most common (47/97) evaluative rubric was summed scores, or summed scores after excluding those below a mandatory minimum (22/97), with majority weight (64.1 percent, 62.9 percent) assigned to quality criteria. Where specified, expected contract lengths with successful suppliers were high (mean, 3.93 years; average renewal, 2.14 years), and most buyers (37/42) expected to award to a single supplier.
Procurement's evaluative approach is distinctive. While aiming to go beyond price in the acquisition of most medical technologies, it adopts a narrow approach to assessing quality and costs, but also attends to factors little considered by HTA, suggesting opportunities for mutual lesson learning.
Brazil has encouraged an ambitious set of policies towards the pharmaceutical industry, aiming to foster technological development while meeting health requirements. We characterise these efforts, labelled the ‘Complexo Industrial da Saúde’ (Health-Industry Complex, CIS), as an outcome of incremental policy change backed by the sustained efforts of public health professionals within the federal bureaucracy. As experts with a particular vision of the relationship between health, innovation and industry came to dominate key institutions, they increasingly shaped government responses to emerging challenges. Step by step, these professionals first made science and technology essential aspects of Brazil's health policy, and then merged the Ministry of Health's new focus on science, technology and health with industrial policy measures aimed at private firms. We contrast our depiction of these policy changes with a conventional view that relies on a partisan orientation of the executive.
We update past work on the democratic deficit, defined as incongruence between majority public preference and public policy in the American states. We reconsider public opinion and state policy on seven issues related to immigration and health questions. Using original data from the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey as well as new data on state policy and other predictors, we show that these seven issues have distinct qualities from Lax and Phillips’s larger basket of 39 policy questions in different issue areas. From 2008 to 2014, the democratic deficit on these issues diminished somewhat in the presence of a heightened level of issue salience.
To examine consumers’ ability to correctly interpret front-of-package (FOP) ‘high in’ warnings in the presence of a voluntary claim for the same or a different nutrient.
A between-group experimental task assigned respondents to view food products labelled as ‘high in sodium’, with a ‘reduced sodium’ claim positioned next to the warning, away from the warning or absent. A second experiment assigned participants to view a food product labelled as ‘high in sugar’, with a ‘reduced fat’ claim positioned next to the warning, away from the warning or absent. For both tasks, respondents were asked to identify whether the products were high in the indicated nutrient.
Online survey (2016).
Canadians aged 16–32 years (n 1000) were recruited in person from five major cities in Canada.
Respondents were less likely to correctly identify a product as ‘high in sodium’ when packages also featured a voluntary ‘reduced sodium’ claim, with a stronger effect when the claim was positioned away from the FOP symbol (P<0·001). The number of correct responses was similar across conditions when the nutrient claim was for a different nutrient than the one featured in the FOP ‘high in’ warning.
The findings demonstrate that the presence of a voluntary nutrient claim can undermine the efficacy of mandated FOP labels for the same nutrient. Countries considering nutrient-specific FOP warnings, including Canada, should consider regulations that would prohibit claims for nutrients that exceed the threshold for nutrient-specific FOP warnings.
Recent studies confirm that Anglxs’ racial attitudes can shape their opinions about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), particularly when this federal health care policy is linked to Barack Obama. Strong linkages made between Obama and the ACA cue Anglxs to apply their racialized feelings toward Obama to their health policy preferences. This is consistent with a growing body of research demonstrating that “racial priming” can have a powerful impact on Anglxs’ political opinions. Yet few studies have explored racialized policy opinion among minorities, and fewer still have explored racial priming among Latinxs. In this paper, we compare the effect of racial priming on the health policy preferences of Latinxs and Anglxs. Using survey evidence from the 2012 American National Election Study, we find important Anglx–Latinx differences in racialized policy preferences. However, we also find that racial priming has an effect on U.S.-born Latinxs that closely resembles its effect on Anglxs. Results suggest that increasing ethnic diversity in the United States will not necessarily produce increasingly liberal politics as many believe. American politics in the coming decades will depend largely on the ways in which Latinxs’ racial sympathies and resentments are mobilized.
The current short communication aimed to provide a new conceptualisation of the policy drivers of inequities in healthy eating and to make a call to action to begin populating this framework with evidence of actions that can be taken to reduce the inequities in healthy eating.
The Healthy and Equitable Eating (HE2) Framework derives from a systems-based analytical approach involving expert workshops.
Academics, government officials and non-government organisations in Australia.
The HE2 Framework extends previous conceptualisations of policy responses to healthy eating to include the social determinants of healthy eating and its social distribution, encompassing policy areas including housing, social protection, employment, education, transport, urban planning, plus the food system and environment.
As the burden of non-communicable diseases continues to grow globally, it is important that governments, practitioners and researchers focus attention on the development and implementation of policies beyond the food system and environment that can address the social determinants of inequities in healthy eating.
The study aimed to examine impact of think-tanks designed to create policies for emerging threats on medical teams’ perceptions of individual and systemic emergency preparedness.
Multi-professional think-tanks were established to design policies for potential attacks on civilian communities. In total, 59 multi-sector health care managers participated in think-tanks focused on: (a) primary care services in risk zones; (b) hospital care; (c) casualty evacuation policies; (d) medical services to special-needs populations; and (e) services in a “temporary military-closed zone.” Participants rotated systematically between think-tanks. Perceived individual and systemic emergency preparedness was reviewed pre-post participation in think-tanks.
A significant increase in perceived emergency preparedness pre-post-think-tanks was found in 8/10 elements including in perceived individual role proficiency (3.71±0.67 vs 4.60±0.53, respectively; P<0.001) and confidence in colleagues’ proficiency during crisis (3.56±0.75 vs 4.37±0.61, respectively; P<0.001). Individual preparedness and role perception correlates with systemic preparedness and proficiency in risk assessment.
Participation in policy-making impacts on individuals’ perceptions of empowerment including trust in colleagues’ capacities, but does not increase confidence in a system’s preparedness. Field and managerial officials should be involved in policy-making processes, as a means to empower health care managers and improve interfaces and self-efficacy that are relevant to preparedness and response for crises. (Disaster Med Public Health Prepardness. 2019;13:152–157)
To assess the effectiveness of the self-regulatory Canadian Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CAI) in limiting advertising of unhealthy foods and beverages on children’s preferred websites in Canada.
Syndicated Internet advertising exposure data were used to identify the ten most popular websites for children (aged 2–11 years) and determine the frequency of food/beverage banner and pop-up ads on these websites from June 2015 to May 2016. Nutrition information for advertised products was collected and their nutrient content per 100 g was calculated. Nutritional quality of all food/beverage ads was assessed using the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and UK Nutrient Profile Models (NPM). Nutritional quality of CAI and non-CAI company ads was compared using χ2 analyses and independent t tests.
About 54 million food/beverage ads were viewed on children’s preferred websites from June 2015 to May 2016. Most (93·4 %) product ads were categorized as excessive in fat, Na or free sugars as per the PAHO NPM and 73·8 % were deemed less healthy according to the UK NPM. CAI-company ads were 2·2 times more likely (OR; 99 % CI) to be excessive in at least one nutrient (2·2; 2·1, 2·2, P<0·001) and 2·5 times more likely to be deemed less healthy (2·5; 2·5, 2·5, P<0·001) than non-CAI ads. On average, CAI-company product ads also contained (mean difference; 99 % CI) more energy (141; 141·1, 141·4 kcal, P<0·001, r=0·55), sugar (18·2; 18·2, 18·2 g, P<0·001, r=0·68) and Na (70·0; 69·7, 70·0 mg, P<0·001, r=0·23) per 100 g serving than non-CAI ads.
The CAI is not limiting unhealthy food and beverage advertising on children’s preferred websites in Canada. Mandatory regulations are needed.
In a 2015 report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM; Washington, DC USA), now the National Academy of Medicine (NAM; Washington, DC USA), stated that the field of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) exhibits signs of fragmentation; an absence of system-wide coordination and planning; and a lack of federal, state, and local accountability. The NAM recommended clarifying what roles the federal government, state governments, and local communities play in the oversight and evaluation of EMS system performance, and how they may better work together to improve care.
This systematic literature review and environmental scan addresses NAM’s recommendations by answering two research questions: (1) what aspects of EMS systems are most measured in the peer-reviewed and grey literatures, and (2) what do these measures and studies suggest for high-quality EMS oversight?
To answer these questions, a systematic literature review was conducted in the PubMed (National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health; Bethesda, Maryland USA), Web of Science (Thomson Reuters; New York, New York USA), SCOPUS (Elsevier; Amsterdam, Netherlands), and EMBASE (Elsevier; Amsterdam, Netherlands) databases for peer-reviewed literature and for grey literature; targeted web searches of 10 EMS-related government agencies and professional organizations were performed. Inclusion criteria required peer-reviewed literature to be published between 1966-2016 and grey literature to be published between 1996-2016. A total of 1,476 peer-reviewed titles were reviewed, 76 were retrieved for full-text review, and 58 were retained and coded in the qualitative software Dedoose (Manhattan Beach, California USA) using a codebook of themes. Categorizations of measure type and level of application were assigned to the extracted data. Targeted websites were systematically reviewed and 115 relevant grey literature documents were retrieved.
A total of 58 peer-reviewed articles met inclusion criteria; 46 included process, 36 outcomes, and 18 structural measures. Most studies applied quality measures at the personnel level (40), followed by the agency (28) and system of care (28), and few at the oversight level (5). Numerous grey literature articles provided principles for high-quality EMS oversight.
Limited quality measurement at the oversight level is an important gap in the peer-reviewed literature. The grey literature is ahead in this realm and can guide the policy and research agenda for EMS oversight quality measurement.
TaymourRK, AbirM, ChamberlinM, DunneRB, LowellM, WahlK, ScottJ. Policy, Practice, and Research Agenda for Emergency Medical Services Oversight: A Systematic Review and Environmental Scan. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(1):89–97.
To examine exposure to energy drink marketing among youth and young adults, and test perceptions of energy drink advertisements (ads) regarding target audience age and promoting energy drink use during sports.
A between-group experiment randomly assigned respondents to view one of four energy drink ads (sport-themed or control) and assessed perceptions of the ad. Regression models examined marketing exposure and perceptions.
Online survey (2014).
Canadians aged 12–24 years (n 2040) from a commercial panel.
Overall, 83 % reported ever seeing energy drink ads through at least one channel, including on television (60 %), posters/signs in stores (49 %) and online (44 %). Across experimental conditions, most respondents (70·1 %) thought the ad they viewed targeted people their age or younger, including 42·2 % of those aged 12–14 years. Two sport-themed ads were more likely to be perceived as targeting a younger audience (adjusted OR (95 % CI): ‘X Games’ 36·5 %, 4·16 (3·00, 5·77); ‘snowboard’ 19·2 %, 1·50 (1·06, 2·13)) v. control (13·3 %). Participants were more likely to believe an ad promoted energy drink use during sports if they viewed any sport-themed ad (‘X Games’ 69·9 %, 8·29 (6·24, 11·02); ‘snowboard’ 76·7 %, 11·85 (8·82, 15·92); ‘gym’ 66·8 %, 7·29 (5·52, 9·64)) v. control (22·0 %). Greater reported exposure to energy drink marketing was associated with perceiving study ads as promoting energy drink use during sports.
Energy drink marketing has a high reach among young people. Ads for energy drinks were perceived as targeting youth and promoting use during sports. Such ads may be perceived as making physical performance claims, counter to Canadian regulations.