Over the two days I engaged in some very interesting discussions around the use of innovations in health care, particularly around the re-design of care services – an area we have explored in our Time to Think Differently work. Many countries have had to deal with the same barriers that we now face – including professional resistance and insufficient attention to the process of implementation. There was agreement that health care should be patient driven and that, regardless of the complexity of our systems, lawyers should not re-design care systems.
Increasing costs in health care was another common topic of discussion, and I have arrived back in the United Kingdom with a far greater awareness of some of the cost-containment solutions being explored by low and middle income countries. As Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet, reminded me, we have much to learn from examining other health care systems. All ideas need to be tailored to local circumstances, but let’s hope the successful diffusion and exchange of some of these solutions will be part of the legacy of WISH.
Fifteen innovations from across the globe were on display at the summit, including a state-of-the-art ambulance with a trolley in the centre to allow paramedics to work on both sides of the patient if necessary, designed by the Royal Society of Arts. Papers on a variety of topics, including mental health, obesity, road safety, antimicrobial resistance, use of big data, accountable care, and patient engagement, were released at the summit, as was a new study on the adoption of innovations across eight countries. This study identifies and assesses key factors associated with successful adoption of health care innovations – an interesting read.
The summit delivered many powerful messages about how we might transform care: about prevention, managing demand, sharing data, and collaborating within systems of care. But, for me, what made Doha really worthwhile was the powerful keynote address delivered by Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy, Burma (Myanmar). She spoke passionately about the need to re-build good health care services in her country so that everyone has access to care. But more importantly she reminded us of the importance of caring: ‘The kind of innovative health care to which I look forward to is one rooted in human values and in spirituality…’
- Find out more about our Time to Think Differently work