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Blog

Filtering by Tag: Gerald Bloom

Why G20 key to achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development

Future Health Systems

I had the privilege of participating in a process led by the Japanese think tanks of the T20 (Think 20) to prepare policy briefs to feed into the deliberations of the G20 taking place in June. I was involved in producing the policy brief Deliberate Next Steps Toward a New globalism for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as part of a series on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and also published in The BMJ. Not only did the opportunity allow me to take part in stimulating discussions and debates around achieving Health for All , it also enabled me to catch a glimpse of increasingly important fora for policy deliberation that are emerging in the context of changing global power relationships.

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We shall experiment, but how shall we learn?: Next steps for research on innovation in China’s health and social policy

Future Health Systems

Some years ago, Tony Saich likened doing research on local government in China to the story of the blind men and the elephant – the complexity of China, and the differences between places, mean that different people experience different things, and describe different realities. China has always provided avenues for interesting research. Many of the debates that Tony Saich was reflecting on were around China’s rapid industrialisation, development of markets, and the ways in which local governments steered reforms. Fifteen years on, while the debates have progressed and the amount of research and analysis on China has increased dramatically, some of the fundamental questions remain.

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Tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in pluralistic health systems

Future Health Systems

There is growing scientific evidence that infections that are resistant to antibiotics are a serious global health challenge. This has stimulated wide agreement on a Global Action Plan for Addressing AMR and many countries have produced National Action Plans. It is important that these action plans take into account the local context. This is especially important in countries with a pluralistic health system in which people seek health care from a wide variety of public and private providers of drugs and medical care. One lesson from the work of the Future Health Systems Consortium is the need to take a systems approach for tackling health challenges in these countries. This blog highlights some priority issues that this kind of approach needs to take into account.

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How will China’s Belt and Road shape global health cooperation?

Future Health Systems

The term ‘BRICS’ was coined to reflect a changing world, in which a number of large, emerging economies were starting to play a greater role in world economic affairs. Terms such as this reflect changing global realities, but also have the potential to shape those realities. The jury is still out on how far China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) will reshape the way we see the world. The view of blog post authors Lewsi Husain and Gerry Bloom is that it will have a significant impact in many areas, one of which is advancing cooperation for global health. At a time of retrenchment and reorientation in developed economies’ assistance, how China, existing donors and health agencies learn to work together will have an important impact on global health outcomes and may provide learning on how to collaborate on other, more contentious, issues.

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Resilient health systems and social resilience

Future Health Systems

The experience of the West African Ebola epidemic and its devastating impact on health and also the capacity of health services to carry out basic public health functions has led to a growing interest in ways to make health systems more resilient. This is the theme of the forthcoming symposium of the Fourth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

It is important to differentiate between the contributions of a health system to social resilience and the factors that make a health system resilient to health crises. Both are important. In fact, the dimensions of the relationship between resilience and health systems are also interlinked.

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Needs of the poorest must be central to tackling antibiotic resistance

Future Health Systems

Launched this week is a major report on tackling the growing resistance to antibiotics by the UK Government and the Wellcome Trust. The authors of this blog post fully support its call for the G20 and the UN to take the lead in building a global coalition for action to address this urgent issue, and urge world leaders to consider the unmet needs of the poorest as central to a solution. 

As the World Health Assembly and the G7 Summit meet next week, their recommendations must recognise that very large numbers of people still do not have access to antibiotic treatment when they have an infection. Action on antibiotic resistance should not undermine the continuing need to ensure everyone has access to the medicines they require to live full and healthy lives - a goal which has not yet been consistently reached outside of richer countries. 

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New methods needed: How can complexity science help us to understand pluralistic health systems?

Future Health Systems

Until recently, the dominant view of a health system was as a combination of building blocks -- such as human resources, finance and so forth -- capable of delivering a package of services. The construction of this kind of health system was seen as relatively straight forward.

However, a number of studies have challenged this view by demonstrating the important influence of context on health system performance. This has stimulated an interest among health system analysts in the application of concepts associated with complex adaptive systems to the challenge of managing health system development and change.

This was the theme of a workshop jointly organised by Future Health Systems and the STEPS Centre in Baltimore in June 2014. The workshop provided an opportunity for an exchange of ideas between people whose focus has been on the analysis of health systems, those involved in systems thinking and the role of modelling and those who bring a social science perspective to the analysis of complex and dynamic contexts.

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The mining boom: will residents of mineral rich countries benefit?

Future Health Systems

As part of my ongoing work investigating health markets and the role of non-state actors in provision of health services, I am involved in a project concerning the role of mining companies in supporting the provision of health services to their employees and the wider community in mineral rich countries. This provided me with the opportunity to participate in the Mining Indaba 2012 in Cape Town in early February. This is an annual event for managers of mining companies, financiers, officials of multi-lateral organisations and Ministers from many African countries. The meeting was an eye-opener.
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Challenges for the future of primary care

Future Health Systems

It is thirty years since the Alma Ata Declaration outlined an international consensus on the need to provide universal access to primary health care (PHC). During the ensuing years some countries established well-organised government health services in which PHC played an important role. Many others were less successful. The lead up to our session at the Geneva Health Forum on future health systems provides a moment to reflect on some of the new challenges for PHC.
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