Advertisement
Policy Forum

Policy Forum Policy Forum articles provide a platform for health policy makers from around the world to discuss the challenges and opportunities in improving health care to their constituencies.

See all article types »

The Global Health System: Lessons for a Stronger Institutional Framework

  • Suerie Moon mail,

    suerie_moon@hksphd.harvard.edu

    Affiliation: Sustainability Science Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Nicole A. Szlezák,

    Affiliation: Sustainability Science Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Catherine M. Michaud,

    Affiliation: Harvard Initiative for Global Health, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Dean T. Jamison,

    Affiliation: Department of Global Health, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America

    X
  • Gerald T. Keusch,

    Affiliation: Global Health Initiative, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • William C. Clark,

    Affiliation: Sustainability Science Program, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Barry R. Bloom

    Affiliation: Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America

    X
  • Published: January 26, 2010
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000193
  • Featured in PLOS Collections

Reader Comments (1)

Post a new comment on this article

A missing anchor?

Posted by tikkipang on 29 Jan 2010 at 10:14 GMT

In an insightful and timely series of articles, Szlezak, Frenk, Keusch, Moon and colleagues [1] highlight the current problems facing the global health system, identify one successful model of collaboration, propose that national health systems are critically important, and identify lessons learnt and future needs. They correctly propose that innovative and more flexible arrangements "anchored by WHO's political legitimacy" is a way forward with regards to dealing with future health threats. However, there is another anchor which is missing. The most innovative collaborative arrangements, the strongest national health systems, the most robust monitoring and evaluation systems and the highest quality research must be anchored in a more aspirational set of shared, collective goals and values. Although Moon identifies some procedural principles, similar values of equity, social justice, transparency, ethical behaviour and accountability must anchor the entire global health system if it is to help WHO achieve the laudable goal of "the highest possible level health for all people". In the broader contemporary context of "global integration but local disintegration" [2] this represents the most pressing and difficult challenge for the global health system.

References

1. Szlesak et al., Keusch et al, Frenk J, Moon et al. PLOS Medicine, Jan, 2010 issue.
2. Kennedy P (2009). The voyage onward-navigating the shoals of global integration and tribal disintegration. IHT Magazine, Dec 12, 2009, pp 39-40.

No competing interests declared.