The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has a role in information sharing with a number of international organisations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We also have informal collaborative arrangements with other international agencies and bodies, such as the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), and the International Group for Indigenous Health Measurement.
Australia has an obligation to supply health and health-related data to WHO and the AIHW is often involved in data supply. These data serve many purposes, including health monitoring, service planning and research. Australia benefits from this in that it allows for international comparisons of health, which helps to identify opportunities for preventative action and health system improvement.
The WHO is supported by a number of Collaborating Centres which assist the WHO to progress its specific programmes of work.
Since 1991, the AIHW has been designated as the Australian Collaborating Centre for the WHO’s Family of International Classifications. The ACC, along with a number of other international Collaborating Centres, assists the WHO with its work on the WHO Family of International Classification (WHO-FIC). The WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) is the framework which allows the capture of health, functioning and intervention (procedures) data from countries around the world.
The OECD’s online database, OECD Health Data, is the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across industrialised countries. The database contains information on health status, health care services and health care spending for member countries.
Information from OECD Health Data facilitates international comparative reporting, supports policy planning and decision making, and enables health-related research and analysis.
The AIHW supplies data for Australia for OECD Health Data. Most Australian data supplied come from databases maintained by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services. For further information, see the OECD Health Statistics online database.
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