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Policy Briefings

Achieving High-Value Healthcare in Qatar and Around the World

Achieving low-cost, high-quality population health in the era of chronic diseases will require the strategic design and implementation of system-level payment and delivery reforms. Qatar’s National Health Strategy, 2018-2022, highlights the need for creating quality, care delivery infrastructure – so-called “high-value health systems” – to enable such improvements in patient access, affordability, and outcomes.
The WISH 2016 Accountable Care Forum Report highlighted how “accountable care” – which we define as “a group of providers who are held jointly accountable for achieving a set of outcomes for a defined population over a period of time and for an agreed cost” – can help guide such reforms, with research for the 2016 report citing examples across the world: from Qatar (Al Wakra) to Nepal (Possible) to the United States (Rio Grande Valley).

Healthy Cities for Healthy Populations

Healthy Cities act as engines for improving population health and reducing the risk or impact of a range of non-communicable diseases. A Healthy City works collaboratively, across multiple sectors and with community partners to address the broader determinants of health taking a Health in All Policies approach. By trialling innovative health promotion initiatives and introducing a range of ‘Healthy Policy’ bundles, the City can become a more nurturing, healthier environment and make healthier choices easier.
The 2016 WISH, Healthy Populations forum acted as platform, to debate and explore strategies to improve population health. Building on that forum and in the spirit of World Cup readiness, this focused briefing allows experts to discuss and gain insights from new approaches to becoming a Healthy City.

Non-communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for approximately 70% of all deaths worldwide. These include heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke as well as chronic lung diseases. Three in four of total deaths attributed to NCDs occur in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The steady rise of the NCD epidemic has been primarily driven by lifestyle risk factors including tobacco use, physical inactivity, alcohol use and unhealthy diets. Premature mortality due to NCDs is one of the major healthcare challenges of the 21st century. The burden is on a continuous rise. It is important to reflect therefore, that many young and middle-aged adults today will die from preventable causes of heart attack, stroke or cancer in 2030, making now a better time than ever to act on NCD prevention at a national level.

Policy briefing Applying BI to tackle major NCDs

Achieving low-cost, high-quality population health in the era of chronic diseases will require the strategic design and implementation of system-level payment and delivery reforms. Qatar’s National Health Strategy, 2018-2022, highlights the need for creating quality, care delivery infrastructure – so-called “high-value health systems” – to enable such improvements in patient access, affordability, and outcomes.
The WISH 2016 Accountable Care Forum Report highlighted how “accountable care” – which we define as “a group of providers who are held jointly accountable for achieving a set of outcomes for a defined population over a period of time and for an agreed cost” – can help guide such reforms, with research for the 2016 report citing examples across the world: from Qatar (Al Wakra) to Nepal (Possible) to the United States (Rio Grande Valley).

Mental Health and Wellbeing in Children and Adolescents

Mental health disorders have increased significantly among children and the adolescent population over the past few decades. According to WHO data in 2013, about 10-20% of children and adolescents worldwide experience mental disorders, with 10% of school-age children having disorders that are clinically diagnosable (WHO, 2013). Roughly half of those identified were suffering from anxiety disorders and a half from conduct disorder or attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Approximately 1% of all children suffer from developmental disorders such as autism. Neuropsychiatric conditions are found to be the leading cause of disability in young people in all regions. If untreated, these conditions will severely influence children’s development, their education attainment, and their overall well -being (WHO, 2013). Additionally, mental health problems place massive costs on the rest of society – educational failure, adolescent crime, teenage pregnancy, and ultimately benefit dependence. Poor mental health also disturbs the physical function of the body and leads to major costs in physical healthcare – for example, for psychosomatic complaints, cardiovascular problems and even cancer (WISH, 2015).

Genomics and Precision Medicine

Precision medicine uses individual information, alongside clinical data about disease composition, to tailor highly individualized prevention and therapies (WISH, 2016), and has been growing rapidly as a technology since the Human Genome Project concluded in 2003 (NIH, 2014). This coincides with the rise of big data analytics in the public health sphere as an effective tool for disease modelling and isolating determinants for health conditions (WHO, 2017), as such it is essential for comprehensive and preventative medical treatment.
It is possible to understand a humans’ genetic code, and link that code to a number of determinants and understand a person’s predisposition to diseases in the long-term (WISH, 2016). The potential of precision medicine is such that it has the potential to vastly alter the implementation of healthcare at all levels, insofar that the infrastructure required to implement it calls upon the involvement of every level of society as stakeholders, from patients to healthcare professionals to government entities to businesses (WHO, 2017) The key to implementing precision medicine effectively lies in safely securing personal health data that would otherwise be misused (WISH, 2016), and convincing potential stakeholders that, despite initial costs, precision medicine provides an overall net benefit (Forbes, 2015).

Fit for the Future? How Healthcare Systems Plan for the Long Term

Consensus is growing that the world is facing a time of unprecedented change on the scale not seen since the late 18th century. A number of mega trends – technology, science, demography for example – are already affecting the supply and demand for health care as well as how it is structured, organised and managed. In many developed economies with weak or stagnant economic growth, the ability to pay for new developments will be severely challenged unless more can be done for less. 
Dr Jennifer Dixon, Chief Executive of the Health Foundation, will provide an overview of megatrends affecting the future planning, delivery and quality of health care in the UK and globally, and set out how health systems can plan for the future and diffuse innovation and good practice.  The event is aimed at delegates with an interest in health systems and policy, and in future trends affecting health care. 

Health Affairs Briefing: Global Policies Supporting Innovation

Health Affairs, a leading monthly peer-reviewed nonprofit journal of health policy based in the United States, explores the impact of health reforms, new approaches to health financing, and the challenges of improving access to and quality of healthcare services. Health Affairs aims to be the best resource on global health policy for a diverse readership that includes policymakers, researchers, health industry leaders, international news media, and others who depend on the latest research evidence and policy ideas to improve global health. Coverage typically features a selection of global health articles in each journal issue and global health theme issues that explore trends, present empirical evidence on the impact of health reforms and innovations, and analyze challenges in extending universal health coverage.
This briefing will focus on the following questions:
  • What are the most important factors in creating policies that support innovation in healthcare?
  • What are key strategies for promoting innovation in data sharing?
  • What does it take to create an innovative environment in healthcare?
  • What are the essential lessons for policymakers to guide them in developing policies to promote innovation in healthcare?

Safety in Maternity: An International Prespective

With more than 130 million births each year, ensuring safe deliveries for mothers is of the utmost importance. While there has been a 44 percent decrease in maternal mortality since 1990, there are more than 300,000 pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths each year, proving that the healthcare community still has a long way to go in delivering universally safe maternity services. During this session and drawing on lessons learned from the Leading Health Systems Network, we’ll bring together experts to discuss the state of maternity services globally and how to improve care for the future. 
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