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In a speech today to the Global Health Policy Summit at the Guildhall, London Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the timing and participation of “such a significant event, especially in an Olympic month when we are welcoming so many people to Britain.”

He thanked Professor Lord Ara Darzi and Imperial College London for “bringing together this stellar group of global clinicians, policy makers, investors and entrepreneurs.”

The summit hosted by Imperial’s Institute of Global Health Innovation and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, brought together policy makers, industry leaders and academics to discuss, debate and decide on actions to tackle global healthcare challenges.

Every healthcare system in the world today is challenged to balance access with affordability; to balance increasing demand with rising expectations; and to balance the cost of therapies with the huge potential of emerging treatments and technologies.

Only by coming together in Global Health Policy Summits such as this can new ways of working, new ways of treating and new ways of financing healthcare systems be most effectively developed.

In his speech to the Summit Lord Darzi said, “the more I look at the shared global health challenges we face, the more convinced I am of the need for bold and radical reform to healthcare systems around the world. The more I study different healthcare systems, the more I see the importance of finding shared solutions to our common challenges.

“Doing nothing is not an option, if we want better quality care. We may have different starting points. But we have much more in common than many people think – we have a shared agenda of reform.

“Reform challenges politicians. Reform challenges professions. Reform challenges patients and the public. That is why reform brings resistance. Resistance remains until the radical becomes the normal. And then the search for innovation begins anew. Reform is a permanent revolution. It is up to people like us to constantly make and win the argument,” Lord Darzi said.

His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, The Duke of York told the conference that innovation and collaboration at an international level needs to take place. He went on to say that we can do nothing better than at least to listen and learn.

Her Highness, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation addressed the delegates and agreed that innovation can help provide new solutions to the global health challenges are so urgently needed. As a longtime advocate for education, Her Highness also added that the power of education in addressing healthcare problems should never be underestimated.

In the reports published and debated at the summit, there are six areas identified by Lord Darzi as”ripe for reform”. These are:

  1. Putting prevention first
  2. Embracing and reforming the professions
  3. Getting patients more engaged in their own care
  4. Harnessing the full potential of the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries
  5. Strengthening personal responsibility; and
  6. Making partnerships central to the way we work

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