EHS-COVID (449) WHO’s 7 policy recommendations on building resilient health systems

21 October, 2021

Extracts below and a comment from me.

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WHO’s 7 policy recommendations on building resilient health systems

19 October 2021 News release

WHO has released a position paper on building health systems resilience towards UHC and health security during COVID-19 and beyond to reinforce the urgent need for renewed and heightened national and global commitment to make countries better prepared and health systems resilient against all forms of public health threats for sustained progress towards both UHC and health security. This requires an integrated approach to building and rebuilding health systems that serve the needs of the population, before, during and after public health emergencies...

In brief: WHO’s 7 policy recommendations on building resilient health systems based on primary health care

1. Leverage the current response to strengthen both pandemic preparedness and health systems

2. Invest in essential public health functions including those needed for all-hazards emergency risk management

3. Build a strong primary health care foundation

4. Invest in institutionalized mechanisms for whole-of-society engagement

5. Create and promote enabling environments for research, innovation and learning

6. Increase domestic and global investment in health system foundations and all-hazards emergency risk management

7. Address pre-existing inequities and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on marginalized and vulnerable populations.

COMMENT (NPW): I have skimmed through the report [ https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-UHL-PHC-SP-2021.01 ] and there are a few references to health workers, but surely they are central to health systems strengthening. To paraphrase Lincoln Chen et al (2004): The only way to achieve health systems resilience is through the health worker: There are no shortcuts. In my view, far more attention is needed to empower health workers with their basic needs https://www.hifa.org/about-hifa/hifa-universal-health-coverage-and-human...

What do you think?

Best wishes, Neil

Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator, neil@hifa.org www.hifa.org