On government spending, experts say easing the constraints imposed by outdated economic assumptions and abandoning reforms that lead to significant cuts in health care will significantly increase spending.
According to the note, investments to ensure equal access to health care for all should be the main goal of economic activity. Government leaders should work to create positive regulatory, tax and industrial policies, and to increase investment in this area.
Finally, public and private finance must be regulated by stricter regulation of private health markets through measures that improve global and equitable outcomes.
V COVID-19 pandemic pointed to large and growing inequalities in access to health care around the world.
For every 100 people in high-income countries, 133 doses COVID-19 vaccines have been introduced, compared with only 4 doses per 100 people in low-income countries.
Nevertheless, according to WHO experts, the world “continues to follow the same economic paradigm, which does not change the basic financial structure and applies outdated views on economic development.”
From 29 to 31 October in Rome, national leaders, along with ministers of health and finance, will come together for the G20 summit of the world’s leading industrialized nations. For WHO economists, the meeting is a window of opportunity for “radical course change.”
The Council believes that a new paradigm is needed to avoid macroeconomic policies that lead the world away from a vision of health for all.
Introducing the new executive summary, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the COVID-19 pandemic “demonstrated that health system financing needs to be radically changed to protect and enhance the health of all people.”
In his opinion, the document “provides a clear and compelling argument that sustainable financing should be directed towards achieving health for all people, and investments should be understood as long-term benefits for national and global development.”
Professor Mariana Mazzukato, Chair of the Council, noted that health systems in general are under-resourced, but warned that “increasing funding is not the only solution.”
“The work of the Council underscores the need for radical reform and reallocation of funding so that the goal of Health for All is embedded in the financial structures, conditions and partnerships between business and government,” she explained.
An ambitious goal
The WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All was created last November to rethink how the value of health and well-being is measured, produced and distributed across economies.
The Council, composed of ten of the world’s most distinguished economists and health experts, operates in four areas. A summary of each of these areas and the final report to be released in 2023 will be used to create momentum to restructure economic activity towards the ambitious target.
The members of the Council are Professor Mariana Mazzukato (Chair), Professor Senit Fisseha, Professor Jayati Ghosh, Vanessa Huang, Professor Stephanie Kelton, Professor Ilona Kickbush, Zelia Maria Propeta da Luz, Keith Raworth, Dr. Vera Songwe and Dame Marilyn Waring.