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Our glossary helps you understand the terms (issues, process stages, actors, ratings and keywords) used in our surveys. Please choose a term from the drop-down menu.

Degree of Innovation

Partners were asked to assess the degree of innovation of the idea or policy described against their country?s present situation. A policy or idea may or may not be entirely new, borrowed from elsewhere (other country) and adapted, or resurfacing from within the own country. The rating scale for this question ranges from ?traditional approach? to ?innovative approach?. An example for innovation is the introduction of a new insurance scheme (ElderShield in Singapore), increased responsibilities for nurses in home care of disabled patients (France), and the idea of earmarked tax credits for low-income groups to be able to purchase supplementary insurance (USA).

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Degree of Controversy

Over time, this survey shall provide insights into actors and (changing) patterns of cooperation, alliances, or trade-offs between key actors and stakeholders related to specific health policy issues. Alliances may change around pharmaceutical issues, depending on whether health or industry goals are prioritised. Biotechnical issues are also highly controversial, such as the definition of brain death. In Switzerland, the economic debate about the right financing system is very controversial, too. Partners are asked to assess whether the policy process was comparatively consensual or highly controversial.

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Structural or Systemic Impact

By impact we understand the scope and relevance of a reform. I.e. if the Swiss vote against per-capita premiums, the introduction of an income and wealth related health insurance contribution would be a reform of structural impact. An amendment of a reform (adding or cutting of benefits to or from the catalogue of services covered) does not necessarily have an impact on the entire health care system (marginal ? fundamental).

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Public Visibility

Media coverage can inform or manipulate the public. The extent to which the population is aware of a health care management or health policy issue is largely influenced by way it is presented, by the headlines dedicated to this topic. Whether or not reporting has an influence on (the outcome of) the policy making process, whether health care issues are chosen for a reason - which ones might receive more attention from the media than others and why - are interesting research question in and across countries over time (very low visibility ? very high visibility).

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Perhaps the most ?controversial? of the ratings, our experts are asked to give their view on the relationship between a health policy idea or reform approach and its context. Is the reform or idea a rather technical issue that could be easily adapted to another context, i.e. system-neutral (i.e. list of SHI-refundable prescription drugs)? Or is it a strongly system-or context dependent reform pattern which cannot be thought of in a different setting (i.e ownership of hospitals, central vs. decentralized decision-making in hospital planning ? DK)? While the assessment of this question reflects the expert opinion of our correspondent, the data-base search for the transferability criteria in combination with innovation may be a good start for those who are looking for innovative and transferable solutions to known problems.

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