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A transition to value-based models that improve outcomes and reduce costs is necessary. The cost of healthcare is increasing at double the rate of global economic growth. By 2040, the world will be collectively spending an estimated $25 trillion every year on healthcare, representing a 150% increase compared with 2014, according to a study published in The Lancet. And yet, many systems have proven to be unnervingly fragile in the face of crises. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many healthcare systems to or beyond their limits, vividly demonstrating the interdependence of good health, economic stability, and growth both for individual countries and at the global level (the International Monetary Fund has estimated that by 2022, cumulative per capita income will be 13% below pre-pandemic projections in advanced economies, and 22% below pre-pandemic projections in developing countries excluding China, for example). As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has exceeded 120 million and resulting deaths have totaled more than 2.6 million - even as new variants continue to emerge - the pandemic has made efforts to add greater resilience and sustainability to health systems an overriding global priority. The creation of more sustainable healthcare provision should include a particular focus on transitioning to value-based systems. Value-based frameworks focus on improving patient outcomes; related models are driven by the accurate measurement of outcomes across the full cycle of care delivery, and by alternative compensation models. However, accelerating such a systemic change will require greater coordination and partnerships among both public- and private-sector stakeholders, in order to champion more innovative and personally-tailored healthcare systems that eliminate unnecessary interventions while potentially ensuring a better return on investment. These innovative systems could result in improved early diagnostics that enable the earlier identification (and treatment) of diseases, and pave the way for technologies such as artificial intelligence to augment efficiency and care, through the use and analysis of larger amounts of data. In 2017, the health ministers of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member countries said in a joint statement that health systems need to become more “outcome-focused,” and providers must evolve towards a value-based concept that improves outcomes while lowering costs.

Sustainability of Healthcare Systems


Global Health Governance