2014

Transformative Learning for Health Equity

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BACKGROUND

The Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC) is an annual international conference focusing on policy-related health issues of global significance. The conference is hosted by the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, the Thai Ministry of Public Health, Mahidol University and other global partners.  It is an international policy forum that Global Health Institutes, both public and private, can co-own and use for advocacy and for seeking international perspectives on important global health issues.

The Conference in 2014 will be co-hosted by the Prince Mahidol Award Conference, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Rockefeller Foundation and China Medical Board with the support from other key related partners.  The Conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 27 -31 January 2014.

The 1910 Flexner report led to the integration of modern science into medical curricula at university-based medical schools. The reforms equipped medical professionals with scientific knowledge which contributed to the doubling of life span during the 20th century.

At the beginning of the 21st century, however, there are several changes affecting worldwide health care services.  Inequities in terms of access to healthcare and quality underscore failure to share health gains across rich-poor, urban-rural population, domestically and internationally.  Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases across national borders, environmental degradation and behavioural risks, various socio-economic factors and social determinants which contribute to ill-health, increased ageing population and demands for long-term care, all have major ramifications on the appropriate profiles and skills of health professional and the way they are trained and deployed.  Healthcare cost, driven by ageing population, technology advancement and increased demands by population becomes increasingly unaffordable and unsustainable.  Universal health coverage has been recommended by the World Health Organization to be the most important strategy for achieving health equity; and this will present new demands and opportunities for the health professionals.

Advancement in biomedical knowledge as well as information technology (IT) are also progressing at an unprecedented pace, and will be much faster in the near future.  These will very much affect healthcare systems worldwide.

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