In the year Launched at the Davos cloister at the 2023 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, the report presents studies on four issues that could drive change: equitable access and outcomes; Changing health care systems; Technology and Innovation; and environmental sustainability.
“The pandemic has led to remarkable advances in drug development and delivery. We must now focus on long-term systemic change to weather the economic crisis and stop the deterioration of health care.
The health care workforce shortage could increase to 10 million by the end of the decade, affecting access to care, inequity and mental health management.
“Businesses and policy makers must think beyond efficiency trading on social equity and use public-private partnerships and results-based legislation to achieve healthy equity by the end of the decade,” said Shiam Bishen of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum.
The annual meeting brings together more than 2,700 business, government and civic leaders. Leaders of healthcare organizations focus on driving public-private partnerships for better health outcomes.
President of South Africa @CyrilRamaphosa Joins on @wef Annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 16-20. https://t.co/pmGTXzEOU5 #wef23 @GovernmentZA pic.twitter.com/UP2IzfA5EV
– World Economic Forum (@wef) January 10, 2023
End of epidemic
The report, prepared by LEK Consulting, shows the disruption caused by the outbreak as a 25 percent drop in coverage of essential health services. This has had complex effects on vulnerable populations and minority communities, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
In particular, Covid-19 has put additional pressure on healthcare systems, disrupting global supply chains for essential goods and pushing overwhelmed care providers to the brink.
“The risk of assault and burnout is real and one of the contributing factors to why doctors consider other professions,” said Kashish Malhotra, MD, a physician in the department of internal medicine at Diyanand Medical College and Hospital in northern India.
To improve access and narrow global health disparities, the report urges healthcare leaders to allocate disproportionate funding to alternative care models and include more clinical trials in low- and middle-income countries.
As healthcare systems seek to adapt and evolve, innovations often outpace regulatory changes. Public regulations on this vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and the lack of common standards in the global industry erodes trust, inhibits payment and prevents the sector from returning to pre-pandemic stability. Meanwhile, the private sector is plagued by broken and fragmented supply chains, while a monogamous business mentality slows systemic change in health care.
“Too often we see a lot of companies trying to find their way through the jungle and each one getting lost and not learning from each other,” said Jeff Allen, chief executive of Friends of Cancer Research. “Public-private partnerships can help bridge this gap by finding short-term solutions to common problems.”
The cost of service delivery is more valuable than voice, the report says. To incorporate prevention, health care policy must be linked to consistent and measurable outcomes, as what is efficient is not always the most efficient.
For innovative partnerships, the pandemic has accelerated technological breakthroughs in digital health and telemedicine. This can be extended to other areas of healthcare. With a Wi-Fi signal and better digital access, a rural patient can consult a health worker in a nearby town or halfway around the world.
Instead, “People want healthcare on demand,” says Gisela Vet Dolan, chief global advocacy officer for Honor + Home. “We need more access to interim answers.”
Remote care empowers patient and staff. Improves convenience, compliance and data access across geographies.
Costs per patient fall by reducing traditional infrastructure demands. And telehealth is more than just online counseling. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will support more clinical decisions, home diagnostics, home-administered drug delivery systems, and patient monitoring tools.
“Physicians are building better relationships with patients through telehealth and we’re seeing older people using it more,” Dolan said of adapting data usage.
The outbreak demanded urgent responses. However, according to the new report, medical breakthroughs are too often reactive “cures” for infectious zoonotic diseases that can be prevented at very low cost.
“The greatest return on investment in protecting health and saving lives comes from clean air, clean water and healthy biodiversity,” he said.
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