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Global Initiative on Health and the Economy

The Global Initiative on Health and the Economy (GIHE) champions public health, trade, and regulatory policies that enable companies in the healthcare sector to deliver solutions that benefit people around the world. We spotlight the unique value of the private sector and advocate for investment in public health as a means to directly drive economic resiliency and growth.

The Global Initiative on Health and the Economy

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Increasing rates of chronic disease around the world coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic are having an alarming impact on public health, workforce productivity, global development, and economic growth. To reverse this trend, GIHE is championing health systems strengthening policies and private sector partnership to deliver solutions that serve individuals, support communities, and benefit countries around the world.

Our Views

Health investment drives economic growth  

Healthcare investments should be seen as a tool to grow the economy, rather than a budgetary cost. Non-communicable diseases and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic represent two of the most serious drags on economic growth, and their broad impacts are growing rapidly. Therefore, Ministers of Finance should be at the table with Ministers of Health when making healthcare decisions and health should be represented in all policies (i.e. finance, trade, labor, R&D, environmental, etc.). 

Strengthening health systems leads to greater resiliency  

Not only will strong and resilient health systems withstand public health emergencies, but they will buffer economic losses and sustain growth. Resilient health systems protect against both infectious disease threats as well as rising chronic disease burdens. Value-based healthcare models in particular offer a solution against rising fiscal pressures.  

Public-private partnerships lead to better healthcare outcomes 

PPPs are about trusted, long-term, risk-sharing agreements between public and private sectors to achieve a common goal. They are not about charitable donations or a simple exchange of money for goods and services. There needs to be a trusted partnership with the private sector, whose role in health systems has been of critical importance during the pandemic via the development, production, and mass distribution of high-quality vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics, and PPE.    

Digital health has the potential to address unmet medical needs  

Greater private and public investments to support new digital health tools is imperative for the advancement of global health. Digital health solutions will only be successful so far as standards and regulations for issues such as data flows, data interoperability, data privacy, and AI and machine learning are globally harmonized. The public and private sector must work together to bridge the digital gaps present in societies and ensure that disadvantaged populations worldwide can benefit from new digital health tools.  

In partnership with the Chamber’s Center for Global Regulatory Cooperation, GIHE launched Digital Health Connect. Digital Health Connect is focused on the digital transformation of health systems around the world and embraces data-driven innovation in digital technology, so that leaders can enhance patient access, quality of care, and efficiencies across the healthcare ecosystem. The goal of the initiative is to work with both the public and private sectors to establish the right policy architecture and regulatory environment to support rapid and equitable access to the digital health tools that are critical in public health interventions.

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