Health Systems Global and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, co-sponsored by the governments of Japan and Norway held a special side event at the 78th United Nations General Assembly to take stock of the deliberations held that week.
The event convened important players in both health policy and health research to discuss the three health-related high-level meetings that took place – on pandemic preparedness and response, universal health coverage and tuberculosis. The emphasis of the event was the essential role of health policy and systems research (HPSR) in tackling current health challenges.
Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, “Research and learning in this area is not a kind of nice to have optional extra. It’s actually extremely important in helping us to navigate the complexities of systems and policies, to help us find new solutions, and to help us –where necessary – reallocate and redirect resources for greater effectiveness.”
Satoshi Ezoe, the Director of Global Health Strategy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan, “to turn political declarations and will into action, we need research science. This is why the health systems research community is essential.”
John-Arne Røttingen, Global Health Ambassador for Norway, “The role of health systems research is to be that independent entity, challenging authorities and those holding power.”
Ana Amaya from Pace University, and board member of Health Systems Global, “We crucially need much more funding for locally produced research and greater investment in building local research capacity.”
Kumanan Rasanathan, Executive Director of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, “(the field of health policy and systems research) can make a difference in primary health care and universal health coverage, in digital health, in noncommunicable diseases, in emergency response and preparedness, and in climate, an existential issue.”
These are important points that will surely inform discussions at the Eighth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research next year in Nagasaki, Japan.