Developing country governments and aid agencies face difficult decisions on how best to allocate their finite resources. Investments in many different sectors – including education, water and sanitation, transportation, and health – can all reap social and economic benefits. This report, ‘Investing in health: The economic case’, which is to be discussed at today’s World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) focuses specifically on the health sector. It presents compelling evidence of the value of scaling-up health investments. The economic case for increasing these investments in health has never been stronger.
Having made progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, and deaths from infectious diseases, it is essential that policymakers do not become complacent.
The health of a population is influenced by a wide range of factors, most of which lie outside the healthcare system. This includes social, economic and environmental factors, as well as individuals’ behaviours.
Tackling the major health challenges facing populations across the globe – including the rise of chronic diseases and widening inequities in health requires co-ordinated action between different parts of society. Yet approaches to improving population health are typically fragmented and imbalanced towards healthcare services.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes 17.5 million deaths each year. Most of these deaths are from heart attacks and strokes, and many are premature. Although outstanding progress has been made in CVD awareness, prevention and treatment, three out of every 10 deaths this year will still be result of CVD.
A global epidemic, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide, affecting all regions regardless of income. Low-and middle-income countries make the largest contribution to the burden of CVD, particularly in terms of deaths in people aged 30 to 70 years, and those figures are still rising. However, CVD deaths and disability are not inevitable and up to a quarter could be avoided with more effective strategies for primary and secondary prevention.
The fact that patient safety is an important issue in healthcare is not up for debate. We can all agree that it is unacceptable that almost one in 10 patients are harmed while receiving care in the hospital. However, it is also worrying that we rely on estimates of safety levels because of the lack of comprehensive information.
Through a combination of a review of the literature and a qualitative survey of eight organisations, this report compares how health systems measure patient safety. The report of the Leading Health Systems Network (LHSN) 2016 reviews which information sources are used and to what end.
In much the same way that genomic technologies are changing the landscape of biomedical research, the ethical issues these technologies generate are setting today’s agenda of ethics research. The distinct ethical issues concerning the management of incidental findings represent a serious challenge that has occupied the minds of
Western bioethicists for a while, but has yet to capture due attention from specialists in the Muslim world.
Incidental findings are generally defined as results that arise although they were not part of the original purpose of the research project or clinical test. Ethical management of these findings is not a simple matter, because while they can be lifesaving, they can also lead to harmful consequences for the individual and community at large, and at other times lack any clear significance.
Most countries have well-established mechanisms to pay for medical treatments. However, many innovations – telemedicine, use of community health workers and lower-cost versions of treatments – are inadequately reimbursed, if reimbursed at all.
Payment systems are often slow to support new care models, and understandably so: additional payments for innovations create fiscal concerns; innovations may not be cost-effective unless integrated appropriately with other services; and existing institutions may lack experience or clear authority to support new services. Accountable care can help to overcome such barriers.
Since the turn of the century, global achievements in scientific research have enabled us to realise a new era of healthcare delivery and treatment. Diseases are becoming better understood, even at their most detailed level, which has allowed scientists to develop new drugs, therapies and preventative techniques to combat problems in very specific ways. A new form of healthcare delivery, one that is determined by a patient’s genetic and personal characteristics, has become possible.
International efforts to achieve global development goals in health have raised concerns about the availability of a well-trained and effective health workforce. As a result, the health workforce has been the focus of many global initiatives in the last decade that have called for urgent action to overcome the so-called ‘health workforce crisis’. Despite some progress, the health workforce challenges remain a critical bottleneck in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals in most countries.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) represents a group of lifelong neurodevelopmental disorders emerging during early childhood and interfering with a person’s ability to socially relate to and interact with others.
As of 2010, there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASD worldwide, representing a substantial increase over the past 40 years. Meanwhile, the economic impact of ASD in the United States (US) alone – based on direct medical, direct non-medical and productivity costs – reached an estimated $268 billion in 2015, a figure that is expected to rise to $461 billion by 2025. ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders also affect the quality of life of those with the conditions, as well as of their families and caregivers.
By Nikita Rathod, Communications and Events Assistant, Institute of Global Health Innovation
Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Historically, the date of the 25th of November was designated as an awareness day in December 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly through resolution 54/134. The aim of the day was to increase worldwide awareness and create opportunities for discussion about challenges and solutions.