October 9, 2013

Charting a new territory: health systems vulnerability

Learning from Economic Downturns How to Better Assess, Track, and Mitigate the Impact on the Health Sector

Regarding the measurement of country-specific health system vulnerability to economic crises in comparison to peers and over time, the WB new report says:
Compared to other fields, such as food security (Food Price Watch 2012; Messier et al. 2012) and environmental vulnerability (SOPAC 2010), the health system lags behind in providing standardized definitions, metrics, and applied tools that would help assess crisis-related vulnerabilities. There are no descriptive tools that would allow for retrospective comparison, let alone predictive tools that would enable early warning signals.
The vulnerability assessment that they propose sounds of interest at a first glance. Spain, Cyprus, Italy and Greece are at the top of european ranking of vulnerability (p.60). Data come from 2010, rigth now the position would be a different one, even worse than before. The problem is that variation within each country is huge, comparing countries is an easy way to forget such differences.