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What Do We Know (and How Do We Know It?)

Access to Healthcare Buddies Without Borders Online Forum completed the first week of landscape analysis. Each forum participant researched the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of their assigned country. We see how much our understanding is influenced by the availability of information, not just what we read, but also whom we know. Assigning values is even harder - it depends on our personal perspectives and experiences.

Here are some highlights this week to share with you:

“…Japan focuses on Prevention of disease rather than treatment. They are doing so in a few ways, the most remarkable ones include the 1982 CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) Prevention Programme, and the Health Japan 21 strategy- a programme of more than a decade focusing on healthier lifestyle and disease prevention (OECD iLibrary).  Those prevention acts have proven useful: In Japan there has been a decrease of 61% of death by CVD, and a decrease of 83% of death by stroke of people 34-84 aged between 1980-2012 (Swiss Re)….  Japan is expected to utilize the rise of Artificial Intelligence, especially in the pharmaceutical field (Swiss Re)… Japan's citizens are aging at a relatively high pace. Currently, almost 30% of the population is above the age of 65, and Japan's population is thought to decrease by 20% by 2050 (Swiss Re). Those will create more age - related diseases, and increased pressure to develop better treatment for those age related diseases. Of course, this can be viewed as both a challenge and an opportunity for increased innovation,depending on one's perspective.” on Japan by Romy Ako, American International School in Cyprus.


“…One of the NHS's most significant strengths is its universal access to healthcare services. Regardless of a person's financial status, every resident has access to necessary medical care without the burden of high out-of-pocket expenses….  The government's centralized funding and management help reduce overhead, leading to cost-efficiency in healthcare delivery….  The emphasis on primary care, with GPs acting as gatekeepers to specialist services, promotes early diagnosis and management of health conditions. This approach can lead to better health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs in the long run. On average, residents of more affluent rural areas live longer and lead healthier lives than many of their urban counterparts. Research done on UK healthcare usually tends to focus on urban environments, where higher levels of deprivation, poor health, social need, and inequity may occur. However, rural communities often find the affluent and poor living close to one another. Rural poverty, social exclusion, and levels of ill health and need amongst particular groups (for example, the growing numbers of older." on the UK by Charushree Agarwal, DRS International School, India.


"Turkey's healthcare system exhibits robustness through its achievement of universal healthcare coverage, ensuring widespread access to essential services without financial barriers. An adaptable approach includes the incorporation of Syrian refugees into the General Health Insurance (GHI) system, addressing the unique healthcare needs of this population. However, challenges loom, notably in capacity constraints during emergencies, necessitating sufficient resources in hospital beds, equipment, and healthcare professionals. Financial sustainability poses a concern due to escalating healthcare costs amid growing demands. A promising opportunity lies in directing resources towards healthcare infrastructure development in underserved regions, intending to enhance the even distribution of healthcare services. Nevertheless, the system contends with the pressure of an aging population, demanding additional resources and specialized care. Striking a balance between leveraging strengths and opportunities while addressing challenges is pivotal for ensuring the continual success and sustainability of Turkey's healthcare system." on Turkey by Chris Taekang Heo, Ross School, NY, USA

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