27 Aug COVID-19 is putting health systems around the world under the microscope – what are we learning?
Authored by Professor David Peiris and Professor Stephen Jan
In this week that we mark World Health Day, the focus on world health is unprecedented. As a research organisation, the obvious question to ask is where the research community should be best focusing our efforts. Clearly, the COVID 19 epidemic crisis has highlighted the need to develop vaccines, quicker tests and new ways of treating the disease; and there is a great deal of well-documented progress being made on these fronts. But when such breakthroughs come, we will need to deliver them rapidly at scale, prioritising those populations that need them most. This means having, amongst other things, well-functioning supply chains, good governance, adequately trained personnel, robust health information systems and the right financing models – the basic building blocks of a health system. Any health systems pandemic planning and response must also consider how COVID-19 can exacerbate existing inequities.