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Strengthening the Resilience of Healthcare Systems to Enable Governments to Face Future Challenges

22 November 2021


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Dubai, October 2021: It has become apparent that healthcare systems around the world are not prepared to meet the demands of the populations they serve. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored this harsh reality, where strengthening the resilience of health systems is a key to enable governments to face future challenges.

The World Government Summit report "Making Healthcare Systems Resilient… An Action Plan for the Next Decade" in collaboration with Strategy&, part of the PwC network, stressed the need for governments and health authorities around the world to take urgent and effective steps to enhance the resilience of health systems, and to develop tools to ensure the readiness and rapid response of governments to face healthcare challenges.

The report further highlighted the various consequences the pandemic had played on healthcare systems globally. It also broke down the reasons for the rapid spread of the virus and the successive waves that swept the world.

It further highlighted the concept of building flexibility within the healthcare systems, in where it discussed a detailed framework to evaluate the processes and the methodology used to measure the extent of flexibility, alongside with its importance in the next ten years. Additionally, it mentioned the measures that need to be taken to achieve this flexibility, and the parties concerned with making it a reality.

Readiness and flexibility are required to develop the next generation of governments

Mohamed Yousef AlSharhan, Deputy Managing Director of the World Government Summit Organization, stressed the Summit’s focus on enhancing the readiness and resilience of governments, as they are essential factors in developing the next generation of governments capabilities to anticipate global transformations, as the likes of the COVID-19 pandemic.

AlSharhan stated that the series of reports launched by the World Government Summit Organization in collaboration with its partners are based on scientific studies and proactive visions to identify new global trends and priorities for the next stage. The reports are conducted based on recent data, to enhance the readiness of governments for the future, and to improve the level of services provided by governments for their nations and citizens.

Assessing healthcare systems resilience and the strategic imperative of building resilience in healthcare systems

The report highlighted the ability of countries to prevent, monitor, respond to, and recover from shocks, hazards and challenges, which constitute health systems resilience.

It further touched upon the strategic importance of resilience of health systems, and the ability to ensure the prevention of risks resulting from crises, and to deal with unexpected needs and emergencies, whether natural or human disasters. In addition, the report highlighted the need to enhance security at the personal and societal levels, and the role of flexible health care systems in strengthening economic activities of countries.

Achieving Healthcare systems resilience

The report mentioned a number of recommendations to achieve health resilience in terms of assessing exposure to natural and human-caused hazards, identifying the main factors that may impose pressures on the healthcare systems, and ways to reduce weaknesses (clinical and behavioral care, common diseases, environmental and occupational conditions, at-risk groups, and socio-economic conditions) through a flexible, targeted, and long-term strategy. It also discussed building healthcare systems by enhancing prevention through various means, such as leadership and management, workforce development, medical products, vaccines and technology, health information, health financing, and service delivery.

The report also referred to mechanisms for building monitoring capacity through disease surveillance, risk-based veterinary supervision, predictive analytics, big data monitoring, international cooperation to respond to emergencies and crises, proactive and resilient laws, rapidly adaptive structures for governance and decision-making, risk-sharing models, contingency funds, and strengthening the availability of financial resources.

Key players in improving the resilience of the health system

The report also mentioned the main stakeholders concerned with improving the resilience of health systems, which are government agencies, regulators, and healthcare institutions. It further discussed the tasks of these stakeholders, which include developing strategies, plans and regulations, governance and partnerships, financing, information management, resources, infrastructure, medicines, vaccines and technology, as well as identifying priorities to enhance the resilience and effectiveness of health systems

“Although previous health emergencies have highlighted smaller-scale hazards and vulnerabilities, the COVID-19 pandemic has fully exposed what happens when there is a global health crisis,” said Jan Schmitz-Hubsch, partner with Strategy& Middle East. “The pandemic’s implications reach far beyond healthcare systems, also affecting the global economy and the livelihoods of billions of people. It should serve as an urgent signal for governments to make healthcare systems more resilient, responsive, and sustainable. Taking appropriate measures today will be critical to ensuring countries are prepared for a more uncertain future,” he concluded.

The World Government Summit Organization recently announced the signing of eight new knowledge partnerships with a selection of the most prominent consulting companies and specialized global research institutions, to launch a series of scientific reports and studies based on proactive visions to identify the most important trends. Alongside with new opportunities to support governments and enhance their readiness for the future and the world beyond the pandemic.

The reports focus on anticipating the future of governments around the world, studying global transformations and challenges facing the world, setting priorities and requirements for the next stage, and developing new work mechanisms and methodologies based on modern data to empower the next generation of governments.