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WGS report highlights key recommendations for governments to achieve healthcare transformation

25 May 2022


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The time is now right for governments to lead positive transformation in the healthcare sector, a report released by the World Government Summit organisation in partnership with leading consultancy firm KPMG has concluded. Source: WAM

The report, "Champions of Change: How Governments Can Lead the Transformation of the Healthcare Sector", discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic forced governments to confront a major challenge in healthcare and play a key role in prioritising public health.

It also adds that the "pandemic has demonstrated the need to transform health systems globally. Governments have had to coordinate the response, mobilise the public and private sectors, and develop dynamic policies to implement and enforce that plan.

This has shown that skills, creativity, and resources can transform healthcare, when combined with the right leadership. Having led the way out of this crisis, governments have had an enduring role as leaders in the transformation of the healthcare sector."

Mohamed Yousef Al Sharhan, Deputy Managing Director of the WGS organisation, stated that the Summit is a global platform for governments to adopt changes that lead to a new world, leveraging smart technologies and systems in all sectors. Governments are now responsible for exchanging and inspiring global experiences and success stories to implement positive impact in their countries to improve their government work.

Al Sharhan also highlighted the successful steps that had been taken by governments in the healthcare sector, especially during the pandemic, to enhance abilities to make huge changes in a short period of time. This enhanced citizens' health and wellbeing and overcame the challenges brought by the pandemic with less loss in system error with all decisions and work models.

Ahmed Faiyaz, Head of Healthcare Advisory, KPMG Lower Gulf, said, "It is an inevitable truth that COVID-19 has enforced the need for transformation in health systems globally. Having led the way out of this crisis, governments in the region and elsewhere at the forefront of the efforts to shape and deliver healthcare transformation.

"Clinical capabilities, innovations in medicine, ingenuity and resources have shown to deliver healthcare transformation when they are brought together with the right leadership."

The report said, "Governments should build their healthcare policies around eight principles. These include ensuring universal coverage and access; building patient-centred health care that contributes to reducing costs and improving quality; giving patients greater authority over their health needs; thinking holistically about the determinants of physical and mental health, regardless of national wealth; stimulating the best health outcome for patients by increasing the efficiency of service providers; building resilient systems with a large and agile workforce; encouraging public-private partnerships and strong supply chains; and leveraging power of data and digital technology."

The report indicated that the pandemic has reinforced that "governments and the private sector can be partners in healthcare. As governments play a key role in transformation, innovation and implementation will be in the hands of the private sector."

"Healthcare innovation depends on innovators, researchers, investors, developers, regulators, policymakers and users. Governments need to provide clear rules, encourage collaboration, and help push good ideas to the market quickly."

In the pursuit of a digitally enabled, people-centred future of healthcare, the report noted that governments "will need to take the lead as enablers of innovation and partners in transformation. Regulatory flexibility, investments in technology and people, and support of the right public and private partners will allow governments to become catalysts of transformation."

The report noted that "digital healthcare is by no means the preserve of wealthier countries. Developing countries seeking universal access to healthcare are increasingly looking at the advantages that digital technology offers to deliver services at much lower cost, than would have been possible without technology."

The report recommended that patients should be empowered through digital technology with quick access to information. It also suggests increasing the size of primary care clinics, working on developing specialised services in the community and investing in non-medical interventions to encourage healthy habits and making payment systems more transparent.

The report concluded that the pandemic has shown that many governments worldwide are willing to make extraordinary efforts to protect the health of their people. This unity of purpose must now be harnessed to create healthcare systems focused on supporting each one of us in maximising our physical and mental health.

Since its launch in 2013, WGS has focused on shaping future governments and building a better future for humanity throughout its seven editions. The Summit has helped establish a new ecosystem for international partnerships that are based on shaping and inspiring future governments.

WAM/Rola Alghoul/Lina ibrahim