WHO Deems Local Medical Research Key to Universal Healthcare Coverage

who_mrAfter the World Health Report launch for 2013, the WHO is calling on countries to improve their investment in local research to help develop better universal health coverage plans. Even in countries that prefer a more privatized system than Canada, governments have a strong role to play in making sure that health standards are maintained.

There are many reasons for this. For example making sure that everyone eligible in a population receives vaccinations to childhood illnesses provides “herd immunity” meaning that if a disease is introduced into the population (for example, from a country that does not have the presence of the disease under control), it is more difficult for the disease to spread, even to people who were immune compromised or otherwise unable to receive a vaccine.  For the WHO, since one of their mandates is to make all humans able to co-ordinate against epidemics and medical conditions that know no borders, they are very strongly in favour of universally high standards of care.

WHO calls on countries to invest more in clinical research

Additionally, as you are well aware, governments also provide the regulatory body that maintains drug safety and pharmaceutical quality control standards for a country that keep the population safe. This is again essential to getting citizens to participate in their healthcare system as unreliable medicines not only squashes export, but also encourages the general population to rely on import.

The WHO is also calling on countries to invest more strongly in pharmaceutical and clinical research.  According to the WHO report, developing economies like Brazil and India have seen and uptick of 5% to 13% in locally-based medical research and collaborations on international projects between scientists in the developed and developing world, as measured on an annual basis. As well as simply increasing the pool of labour devoted to medical innovation, research in developed countries have an insider’s view into how medical care is best implemented and the needs of the population it has to provide for.

Universal health planning is going to be as key a component as developing effective cures in fighting a number of common and deadly ailments, from AIDS/HIV to tuberculosis.  This is of a growing importance in globalized world with more chances for exposure.

What do you think would be the best way to help increase universal healthcare?