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World Health Innovation Summit explores social prescribing on global level

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An international panel of experts have examined how social prescribing can play a role in the future of health and social care.

Held by the World Health Innovation Summit (WHIS) on Friday 18 December, the webinar explored how social prescribing could create value by investing in prevention, health leadership and building trust.

Discussion also focused on using social prescribing to support the "Goal 3" of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are a collection of 17 interlinked goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all" – and Goal 3 is to "ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages".

The session was moderated by Gareth Presch, chief executive of WHIS (to read an interview with Presch, click here for HCM Issue June 2019.

"The current healthcare system is based predominantly on a sick-care model, the system is essentially one that waits until we have fallen ill," WHIS said in a statement.

"We face unprecedented challenges, with staff shortages in healthcare globally expected to be 18m by 2030. Healthcare costs have been rapidly rising over the past few decades.

"This unsustainable demand and increase in costs can be largely attributed to the growth in the human population along with a diverse population that results in higher incidence of chronic and multiple conditions.

"As well as this, a one-size-fits-all approach to health doesn’t work. Both consumer preferences for convenience and affordability are shifting ans demand for a more efficient, personalised delivery model is growing.

"COVID-19 has dramatically unveiled the fragile state of the world’s health, health workforce, political and social systems – the lack of emergency health crisis preparedness, siloed policy frameworks (focus on individual conditions and the lack of integration of health into the whole of societal activity and its impact on individual as well as community wellbeing and prosperity), and unclear communication (misguided rationale of policies, inconsistent interpretation of data).

"The net result has been fear and panic– about the disease, about risks and survival, about which rules to follow, and about economic security.

"The opportunity exists to create a new model that creates value based on prevention, early intervention and using different types of resources that will enable people and communities to thrive and improve their health and wellbeing, support the existing health services, create new and meaningful jobs while supporting the implementation of the 17 sustainable development goals."

• The webinar can be viewed on Youtube.

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An international panel of experts have examined how social prescribing can play a role in the future of health and social care.
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