The World Health Summit is the annual conference of the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers and Medical Universities together with the National Academies. It is one of the world’s foremost gatherings of leaders from academia, politics, industry and civil society. The aim is to develop joint strategies and address key challenges in medical research, global health and health care delivery to shape the political, academic and social agendas.
After a highly successful inaugural conference in 2009, on the occasion of the 300th year anniversary of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the World Health Summit is now being held annually. The goals are:
- To improve health worldwide by strengthening the links between research, academic medicine and decision makers in all other healthcare sectors.
- To establish an international, multi-sectoral health forum.
- To bring together individuals and groups in order to create networks and collaborations.
- To provide academic input for the scientific and global health agenda
Agenda for 2012
“Research for Health and Sustainable Development,” the theme of the 2012 World Health Summit, articulates this year´s focus on finding novel solutions for non-communicable diseases and conditions of global concern, like obesity, diabetes, and mental illness. Unhealthy lifestyles are a main cause of these new epidemics. Greater awareness of the global economic risks and human suffering related to the epidemiologic transition, as well as sustainable solutions for healthcare systems to meet the challenge of non-communicable diseases and conditions, are urgently needed.
The World Health Summit is organized under the high patronage of the German Chancellor and the French President. It gathers around 1.500 attendants from 90 countries:
21st – 24th October, Berlin, Germany
Medical progress and success in achieving equitable access to health care and preventive interventions are threatened by unsolved and newly emerging problems: new types of epidemics like obesity, mental ill-health, and violence and injury, in developed and developing countries, in addition to the still raging epidemics of HIV, TB, and malaria; the rising costs of health care; the demographic shift to an ageing society; climate change and its health consequences that are already being felt; and the worldwide economic crisis and its serious threats to the health of populations across the globe.
Still, rapid progress of medical science and technology opens up exciting possibilities for diagnosis, therapy, and prevention with the potential to improve health, security, and economic stability worldwide. In practice though, the mechanisms to facilitate and evaluate the implementation of innovations in health care are largely absent from global governance structures. Hence, governments and international institutions should integrate health and health care into their societal and political agendas and policies to ensure that health is regarded as a public good that must be achieved equitably and to the highest attainable level.
The World Health Summit addresses pressing issues that medicine and health care systems will face and aims to develop cogent and timely responses regarding the health of populations worldwide. The Summit’s results and recommendations will serve political, economic, and health care decision-makers with their advice and function as a roadmap for the future. As a global medical forum, the World Health Summit aims at high visibility and sustainability.