BMJ: What do we want the world to be?

8 January, 2022

HIFA welcomes Kamran Abbasi as the new editor-in-chief of tTHe BMJ, taking over from Fiona Godlee who held the post for 16 years. On behalf of HIFA, our very best wishes to Fiona, who has always been a key supporter of our work. Indeed, she is the lead author (with me and others) of the 2004 Lancet paper 'Can we achieve health information for all by 2015?', which resulted in the launch of HIFA in 2006.

Kamran writes in this week's issue: 'What do we want the world to be?... Is it so hard to imagine a world that prioritises the health and wellbeing of people and the planet?... It all goes back to being clear about what we want the world to be, and fighting each day to make this a reality.'

Indeed, this is what drives HIFA. Specifically, the HIFA vision is a world where every person has access to the reliable healthcare information they need to protect their own health and the health of others, and is protected from misinformation. More broadly, HIFA is about 'the health and wellbeing of people and the planet' and upholding human rights. More broadly still, I see HIFA in terms of making a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. Our focus is on SDG3, but it is the wider SDG agenda that represents the consensus global answer to the question 'What do we want the world to be?'. Progress - and failure - in any of the SDGs are mutually reinforcing.

In particular, let's keep in mind SDG17: Partnerships. 'The SDGs can only be realized with strong global partnerships and cooperation... The world is more interconnected than ever. Improving access to technology and knowledge is an important way to share ideas and foster innovation.'

The BMJ corporate vision is directly aligned with HIFA's vision: 'BMJ is a global healthcare knowledge provider with a vision for a healthier world. We share knowledge and expertise to improve healthcare outcomes.'

We look forward to continue working with The BMJ and other HIFA supporting organisations to accelerate progress on our common purpose to improve the availability and use of reliable healthcare information.

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,