Global Health

Health is a function of welfare. In an increasingly shrinking world, the health and well-being of people everywhere is essential for social development, economic growth and global security. A number of factors, including biological factors, nutrition, socio-economic background and environmental factors dictate an individual’s health. However, diseases and poverty respect no boundaries. It therefore calls for greater global coordination and cross-border cooperation to tackle the growing healthcare concerns, now more than ever.

This year the Global Health Policy Centre will focus on three major concerns of today.

Challenging healthcare needs of displaced persons :

Globally, 65 million people have been displaced from their homes by war, out of which 21 million are refugees. The vast majority of them come from middle-income countries with good baseline health indicators. Unlike refugees in the past who were plagued by infectious disease and malnutrition, they are now mostly burdened by the traumatic experience and chronic diseases (such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV, etc.), neither of which humanitarians are used to working with.

Improving preventive medicine and emergency response:

Healthcare can be classified as primary care, hospital care and public health. While much progress has been made in the former two areas, public health, especially preventive medicine (eg. health education, vaccination and screening), often takes a backseat. Poor nutrition and sanitation have consumed more lives than deadly pathogens. A heavy price has also been paid for the poor response to and ill-management of the Ebola and Zika outbreaks. The narrative, therefore, needs to shift to improving preventive medicine and building a robust global emergency response system.

UnBrexiting the UK’s healthcare system :

In the UK, we face an uncertain future following the decision to leave the European Union. This marks the undoing of years of collaborative medical research, shared medical practices and regulatory processes. With the health and social care system at its knees, there is a need to open dialogue on issues such as improving the healthcare task force, establishing regulatory bodies for drugs and greater involvement of SMEs specialising in medical technologies and diagnostics.

We will begin the debate this year with the ‘7 ways to keep the 7-day NHS’, followed by a number of policy seminars from guest speakers, panel discussions and informal networking events based on one of the themes discussed above. Stay tuned for the latest updates on our webpage and social media sites.

Lastly, as a students-driven policy forum, we strongly encourage and welcome students’ involvement in our work, and aim to lend a voice to your invaluable thoughts and inputs. If you have a new idea or would like to be involved in our current projects, please do get in touch with me at pcpresidents@kingsthinktank.org.

Looking forward to a year of fruitful discussions and positive change!

Swetavalli Raghavan
President, Global Health Policy Centre