WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All launches report at 76th World Health Assembly
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a roadmap to focus on the links between health and sustainable, inclusive and innovation-led economic growth during the ongoing 76th World Health Assembly (WHA). The report is the first of its kind.
Health for All: Transforming economies to deliver what matters report was launched May 23, 2023 by the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All, which was formed two years ago in November 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has outlined a bold new path to reorient economies to deliver what matters — health for all,” WHO said in a press note.
“Now, instead of health for all being seen as the servant of economic growth, we have a roadmap for structuring economic activity in a way that will allow us to reach the goal of seeing all people with access to essential health services faster with better results,” said WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said.
The council was established to provide new economic thinking — reassessing how health and well-being are valued, produced and distributed across the economy. The all-female group comprises 10 distinguished economists and area experts.
The group focused on reimagining how to put health for all at the heart of government decision-making and private sector collaboration at regional, national and international levels, said the global health body.
UCL professor Mariana Mazzucato, chair for WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All, said:
Health for all must be at the heart of government investment and innovation decisions—and it must be governed with the common good in mind. The Council will work to address these many challenges and offer the world a path forward.
The report recommended policy approaches underpinned by this new economic narrative.
The choices on channelling and shaping public and private investments will determine whether the world continues to struggle with the consequences of major health challenges or succeeds in creating a new political economy based on health for all, it further said.
It recommended reorienting economies to deliver health for all across four interrelated themes:
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown an urgent need for a globally agreed system for sharing pathogen materials and clinical samples to facilitate the rapid development of medical countermeasures as global public goods, Ghebreyesus said at the 73rd WHA, November 13, 2020, while announcing the formation of the council.
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