Stress Testing National Healthcare Systems
A multivariate model is needed to determine the resilience of the healthcare system
All developed nations have acted within a single paradigm — knowledge and management, operational management, and an understanding of what is happening. What we’re faced with doesn’t matter — it’s a system for collecting information: about sick people, hospitalized people, unfavourable outcomes, or something else [...] This all needs to be taken into account. A multivariate model is needed. We can’t be in the paradigm of a single result. We need to take a lot more into account — Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.
We tried to figure out how to make healthcare systems more sustainable and stronger in times of crisis. We found three answers. First, you need knowledge. Second, [you must have] an agreement about what resilience is. And third is the action by which you must be guided to achieve this goal — George Wharton, London School of Economics Professor .
The healthcare system needs to use digitalization tools, including to inform the public
Sometimes we need informatization and digitalization not simply because it simplifies [the work] process. We have long understood that it does not simplify our life, it will make it more transparent and effective — Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health of the Russian Federation.
We need to make the most of the available technologies. Digital technologies have undergone a revolutionary breakthrough due to the spread of coronavirus. India is one of the leading countries in the world in using digital technologies to track the spread of the epidemic and the spread of vaccinations. [...] Rapid adaptability, public awareness, and other measures in the healthcare system that can help the maximum number of people, that’s what we’ve understood — Venkatesh Varma Datla Bala, Ambassador of the Republic of India to the Russian Federation.
A lack of funding, skills, and preparedness for global emergencies are major challenges for the world’s health systems
We have looked at how the healthcare system is built into the very system of existence and the life of society, especially in a situation similar to the 2020 pandemic. What did we find? Nothing surprising or sensational really. Overall, healthcare systems showed a lack of preparedness and a trend of underfunding. The healthcare system is seen as a cost centre, not an investment centre [...] The next area is the difficulties in staff development — George Wharton, London School of Economics Professor .
We need to increase funding and our capacity [...] We have calculated that at least 5% of gross domestic product [is needed for sufficient funding]. How much are we currently funding the Russian healthcare system? For COVID, it’s 3.5%, which is 33% less than needed. However, we are managing. But this does not mean that we will continue to carry this burden ourselves — Guzel Ulumbekova, Head, Higher School of Healthcare Organization and Management, MD.
Countries around the world need to work together to cope with crises such as pandemics
International cooperation and the exchange of experience and knowledge was an important factor. [...] We need to agree on the terms and how to change this condition [the resilience of the healthcare system]. We have to agree on a common language. It is very useful for any research — George Wharton, London School of Economics Professor .
How can we make our healthcare systems sustainable? First, we must work together. We can’t do it alone. There must be help from the outside. We closed the borders and took certain political measures. We created a pan-European commission that could come up with a response. [...] We must have the ability in such difficult, almost wartime-like times, to establish contacts and dialogue in terms of developing a vaccine — Hans Henri P. Kluge, Regional Director for Europe, World Health Organization.
We see that half of the companies want to hire people who believe in the future of the Russian market. [...] I don’t like that many countries were inclined towards COVID nationalism, where it was each person for himself. But the virus does not ask if you are American, German, or Russian. We must work together — Matthias Schepp, Chairman, Russian-German Chamber of Commerce; Delegate of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in the Russian Federation.
Strengthening the autonomy of the pharmaceutical industry of countries around the world, creating a backup supply of drugs, and increasing the availability of drugs for the public
We also need to ensure drug security. We are dependent on countries outside the pan-European union. We need to become more autonomous in drug production and drug security — Hans Henri P. Kluge, Regional Director for Europe, World Health Organization.
We are moving in the right direction, but we need to move even further, even faster. Both legislative and financial measures need to ensure the availability of innovative funds. It’s not just a matter of pharmaceuticals, it’s an entire ecosystem [...] During the pandemic, patients face great difficulties. They can’t continue their treatment or access the necessary drugs and procedures — Asgar Rangoonwala, Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
Manufacturing pharmaceuticals shouldn’t be a problem from a global perspective. The supply of medicines should be continuous. However, it’s essential to ensure the equitable distribution of medicines in times of crisis, when every country has a need for medicines and when the incidence of diseases is increasing. We need to secure our reserves — Peter Goldschmidt, Chief Executive Officer, STADA Arzneimittel AG.
The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS