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International Survey Of Older Adults Finds Shortcomings In Access, Coordination, And Patient-Centered Care

November 20, 2014 Comments off

International Survey Of Older Adults Finds Shortcomings In Access, Coordination, And Patient-Centered Care
Source: Health Affairs

Industrialized nations face the common challenge of caring for aging populations, with rising rates of chronic disease and disability. Our 2014 computer-assisted telephone survey of the health and care experiences among 15,617 adults age sixty-five or older in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States has found that US older adults were sicker than their counterparts abroad. Out-of-pocket expenses posed greater problems in the United States than elsewhere. Accessing primary care and avoiding the emergency department tended to be more difficult in the United States, Canada, and Sweden than in other surveyed countries. One-fifth or more of older adults reported receiving uncoordinated care in all countries except France. US respondents were among the most likely to have discussed health-promoting behaviors with a clinician, to have a chronic care plan tailored to their daily life, and to have engaged in end-of-life care planning. Finally, in half of the countries, one-fifth or more of chronically ill adults were caregivers themselves.

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New Comparative Law Report — Approval of Medical Devices

November 14, 2014 Comments off

Approval of Medical Devices (PDF)
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report describes the approval process for medical devices in the European Union and fifteen countries, and also indicates whether or not an expedited approval procedure is available. Many of the countries reference EU law, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Israel more readily approves devices with a CE mark (indicating approval in the EU) or an indication that they are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In many nations, particularly those influenced by the EU, part of the review process is conducted not by the government but by private, independent organizations called “notified bodies.” These organizations are designated by EU Member States.

In most of the countries in the survey, medical devices are categorized based on the risks associated with their use, and the approval process varies by category. For example, in the United Kingdom, manufacturers of low-risk devices may register with the government agency and simply declare that the devices meet the requirements to be approved. Devices classed as higher risk must undergo more detailed review, by a notified body.

On the question of an expedited approval process, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland permit some sort of rapid review in particular cases, often when a device is required for an individual patient and no substitute is available. Mexico has provided for more rapid approval of devices if they have already been approved in either Canada or the United States. No such procedure exists at present in Brazil, France, Israel, the Russian Federation, or the United Kingdom. The Russian Federation did have a rapid approval system in place prior to August 2014. Germany provides for temporary approval of devices in limited circumstances. South Africa is now considering draft legislation that would include expedited procedures in specified situations.

2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Exploring European consumer mobility choices

November 14, 2014 Comments off

2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study: Exploring European consumer mobility choices
Source: Deloitte

This report highlights the key findings for the eight European countries covered in the 2014 Global Automotive Consumer Study by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s Global Manufacturing Industry group. The report provides perspectives on consumer mobility trends with a focus on the Gen Y market segment. Countries include Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, and United Kingdom.

Generation Y (“Gen Y”) consumers in Europe are interested in owning or leasing vehicles with around 75 percent planning to buy or lease a vehicle within the next five years. The study draws automakers’ attention to the changing mobility needs and buying behavior of Gen Y consumers, a group estimated to reach 106 million people in Europe by 2020.

Shifting Focus: Policies to Support the Labor Market Integration of New Immigrants in France

November 13, 2014 Comments off

Shifting Focus: Policies to Support the Labor Market Integration of New Immigrants in France
Source: Migration Policy Institute

In France, immigrants are more likely to be unemployed or in low-skilled work than their native-born peers. Immigrants face a number of challenges to entering and advancing in the French labor market, including discrimination, foreign qualification recognition, and limited professional networks. Moreover, the French labor market is structurally unfavorable to new entries, whether migrants or native-born youth, and foreign nationals from outside the European Union (EU) are barred from many public- and private-sector jobs.

Despite these obstacles, the government has not made a policy priority of getting newcomers into jobs. Integration policy in France has traditionally come in the form of urban policy, targeting disadvantaged neighborhoods that often happen to have a large number of immigrants and their children rather than immigrants themselves. While there have been significant reforms to integration policy since 2000, the focus of these reforms has been cultural, not socioeconomic, integration. Many features of France’s robust workforce development system are available to immigrants upon arrival, including use of the public employment service that provides job search assistance and career counseling, but immigrants are excluded from the more prestigious elements like vocational training.

This report examines how well mainstream employment policies, in combination with recent integration policy reforms—particularly the introduction of a new category, “newly arrived migrants”—are supporting migrants’ integration into the labor market and advancement into middle-skilled jobs. The report provides an overview of immigrants’ progress in the French labor market and analyzes recent French immigration policy and the relevant aspects of employment policy, language and vocational training, and antidiscrimination programs. Finally, the report proposes some policy recommendations.

What Would Happen If Health Care in the U.S. Improved?

October 23, 2014 Comments off

What Would Happen If Health Care in the U.S. Improved?
Source: Commonwealth Fund

The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but the Commonwealth Fund report Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, 2014 Update: How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally shows the U.S. underperforms relative to 11 other industrialized countries on most dimensions of performance. Use this interactive to see what would happen if the U.S. were to raise its health system performance to the levels achieved elsewhere in the world.

Economic & Environmental Impact of Traffic Congestion in Europe & the US

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Economic & Environmental Impact of Traffic Congestion in Europe & the US
Source: Inrix

With people in Europe and the US currently wasting on average 111 hours annually in gridlock, the impact of traffic congestion on individual driver’s time is well understood. However, new research shows traffic congestion actually does much more than test our patience. It’s a significant drain on our wallets as well our economies.

A new report by INRIX in collaboration with one of the world’s leading economic think tanks, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), quantifies the cost of traffic congestion on individual households and national economies in the U.S., U.K., France and Germany. This is the first study of its kind to forecast the projected increases in these costs in these countries and their most congested cities between 2013 and 2030. Driven by urbanization and increased GDP per capita over the next 17 years, a few of the key findings include:

  • The combined annual cost of gridlock to these countries is expected to soar to $293.1 billion by 2030, almost a 50% increase from 2013.
  • Over this period, the cumulative cost of congestion for these economies combined is estimated to be a staggering $4.4 trillion.
  • The overall economic impact is greatest in the U.S. where the estimated cumulative cost of traffic congestion by 2030 is $2.8 trillion – the same amount Americans collectively paid in U.S. taxes last year.
  • However the UK (at 66%) and London (at 71%) will see the greatest annual rise in the cost of congestion by 2030, mainly as a result of seeing the highest increase in urbanization
  • At the individual level, traffic congestion cost drivers $1,740 last year on average across the four countries. If unchecked, this number is expected to grow more than 60% to $2,902 annually by 2030.

Free registration required to download report.

Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration Policy in France: Education, Employment, and Social Cohesion Initiatives

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Mainstreaming Immigrant Integration Policy in France: Education, Employment, and Social Cohesion Initiatives
Source: Migration Policy Institute
In France, where integration initiatives are limited to an immigrant’s first five years in the country, “mainstreaming”—the practice of reaching people with a migration background through social programming and policies that address the needs of the general population—is an intrinsic characteristic of integration policy. However, because French law prohibits the collection of official statistics based on ethnicity, and because most children of immigrants are French citizens, it is difficult to assess to what extent policies aimed at the general population affect immigrant youth. This is further complicated by a deep societal distrust of policies that target a particular group over others, originating from the French republican principle of equal treatment regardless of origin, religion, or race.

This report traces the history and recent developments of immigrant integration in France, which has been a popular destination for migrants since the 19th century. The size of France’s foreign born population is on par with that of other European countries, but immigrants in France arrived earlier. As a result, France has one of the highest proportions of immigrant descendants in Europe.

France has primarily focused on integration initiatives that target youth in three key areas: education, employment, and social cohesion. A recent reorganization of the institutions responsible for implementing integration policy has effectively mainstreamed those programs. In addition, a new area-based approach to solving problems of inequality has taken precedence over initiatives that tackle issues specific to immigrant youth, including discrimination. This approach is also limited in its ability to reach immigrant groups that are more widely dispersed geographically.

As the government of President Francois Hollande considers further institutional changes to integration policy, including the delegation of responsibilities from the Interior Ministry to various relevant bodies, the concept of “mainstreaming” is likely to affect governance structures and the public discourse surrounding immigrant integration.

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