Royal Philips NV

09/17/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/17/2021 05:35

Philips at UNGA76 – helping establish the resilient healthcare systems needed in a changing world

A. The world's healthcare systems are at the crossroads of multiple intersecting challenges - dealing with COVID-19 and its aftermath, the global rise in non-communicable diseases such as heart failure and type 2 diabetes, the growing risks to people's health due to climate change, as well as mental health challenges. The recent publication of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlights scale of the climate change challenge. So one of the key questions at UNGA is how you build resilience into future healthcare systems.

COVID-19 has demonstrated that simply spending more money is not the answer. Those countries that have fared best during the pandemic are those that have a holistic, joined up healthcare system. One in which primary care, secondary care, social care, and public health are closely connected top-to-bottom and well-orchestrated. Governments looking to build resilience into their healthcare systems to cope with future crises could well look to those countries for best-practice. However, to build resilience at affordable cost they will also need to embrace structural change in the form of digitization, transformative partnerships and innovative financing models.

Q. How can the private sector help to build health system resilience?

The private sector will play a crucial role in the collective effort required to build resilient global health systems. Governments will need to show strong leadership and undertake an orchestrated effort to bring all stakeholders to the table to drive decision-making. We can help strengthen health system capacity and deliver lasting impact by creating smart investment vehicles, growing health system efficiencies through digitization, and looking at new partnerships that leverage both public and private expertise.

Q. Why are transformative partnerships so important?

Transformative partnerships are fundamental to understanding local issues and end-user needs because there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution for building resilience into healthcare systems. So you not only need to choose partners with complementary strengths, you also need to choose partners that are actively involved in healthcare delivery at the local level. A good example is the long-standing partnership between Philips and Amref Health Africa, which is already driving and improving healthcare access across Africa. To achieve scale and impact, partnerships must also be partnerships of equals, with no single organization driving its own agenda. They must also be open to every player in the ecosystem that can help drive the transformation, including the communities they are planning to serve. Done properly, partner relationships give organizations enormous transformative power, not only to achieve the goals of the partnership, but also to grow and innovate as organizations in themselves.