Governments Urged To Invest In Healthcare Systems Despite Global Economic Uncertainty

healthcare systems

According to new research presented at a Global Summit today, there is an urgent need to invest in healthcare systems to increase resilience against future crises and the rising burden of disease.

The study, which was commissioned by the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR), emphasises the need for governments all over the world to address healthcare system flaws that leave nations vulnerable to crises and worsen the economic, social, and environmental effects of disease.

The PHSSR is a partnership between businesses, academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, healthcare providers, and life sciences companies, of which the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a founding member. The Partnership aims to research and contribute to the development of health systems that are durable under long-term stresses and resilient to crises.

“Healthcare systems around the world are grappling with the same problems, delivering services amid resource constraints and increased demand. Amid aging and growing populations, rises in non-communicable diseases and the impacts of climate change, there is one thing that remains certain – the need to continue investing in our health systems.”

Dr. Shyam Bishen, Head of Health & Healthcare, World Economic Forum

A methodology created by academics at the LSE was used in the research to assess the domestic healthcare systems in 13 countries*. The findings draw attention to the following flaws:

Healthcare systems need adequate funding, and the existing financing methods are frequently inefficient and do not encourage better health outcomes.

Staffing challenges and wellbeing concerns are problems facing the health services. Additionally, the distribution of healthcare workforces is unfair, which affects their ability to meet demand. People living in rural areas, disadvantaged and marginalised groups, and those who have chronic illnesses are most impacted by this.

The provision of coordinated and proactive care is still a challenge in many of the surveyed nations. Primary care, preventive, and health promotion are also frequently underfunded.

Healthcare is rife with inequities, which have gotten worse during COVID-19. Equally, national policies continue to place too little focus on the social determinants of health.

Despite the reality that the health of humans and the environment are intricately linked, many healthcare systems find it difficult to comprehend, monitor, and take action to lessen their environmental impact and appropriately safeguard their populations from the health effects of climate change.

The availability, completeness, and application of health data to support learning, policy evaluation, and evidence-informed decision making differ greatly across the investigated nations. In many nations, the incompatibility of various electronic health record systems is a major issue.

“Health systems are there to protect us. They are one of the foundations of a healthy society and a prosperous economy. When a crisis hits, we need them to stand firm. We cannot repeat the same mistakes from the post-2008 financial crisis era which left health systems ill-prepared to deal with COVID-19 and the ever-rising burden of chronic diseases. Maximum efforts should therefore be taken to ensure that health systems are made more resilient to future crises, and in turn sustainable in the face of long-term pressures.”

Baroness Minouche Shafik, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science

The study also emphasised the significance of teamwork in creating resilient and long-lasting health systems. Knowledge exchange across borders and with other industries can speed up development and strengthen healthcare systems.

The PHSSR and its partners work together to improve the sustainability and resilience of healthcare systems through research reports that offer evidence-based policy recommendations. This helps to advance knowledge and direct action.

The World Economic Forum, the London School of Economics, and AstraZeneca founded the PHSSR in 2020. Later, partners on a global scale, such as Philips, KPMG, the Center for Asia-Pacific Resilience and Innovation (CAPRI), and the WHO Foundation, joined them.

An earlier phase of research in 2021 that looked at the health systems in an initial set of eight nations provided the foundation for this latest study. The CEEBA Health Policy Network’s findings, which focus on the Central Eastern Europe and Baltics region, will also be presented and discussed during the Global Summit. Between now and March 2023, the new nation reports as well as an overall summary report will be released. The PHSSR website hosts all research reports.

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