In this course, learners will become familiar with principles and theories of global health problems, and major challenges and controversies in improving global population health as well as practical applications of quantitative methods to analyze and interpret issues and challenges for policy. Topics will include health and foreign policy, health governance, acute disease surveillance, non-communicable diseases, burden of disease, universal health coverage, health systems strengthening, health financing, and human resources for health and ageing.
Global Health Policy and Governance
There are four modules in this lecture series. We will start with key issues in current global health policy and governance. The year 2015 reminded political leaders and the public that people’s safety is a genuine challenge at a time of disease epidemics, terrorism, refugee and migration crises, and climate change among others. The recent Ebola virus outbreaks in west Africa exposed weaknesses in core global functions, such as the provision of global public goods, management of cross-boarder externalities and fostering of leadership and stewardship. This module describes major challenges and issues in global health policy and proposes actions in global health, in particular for Japan at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit.
Pandemics and Health Security Responses
In this module, we will explore the relationship between universal health coverage, disasters and pandemics. We will learn how to measure and understand the spread of infectious diseases, and how to respond to them. We will also consider the conditions necessary to ensure an effective and timely response to both infectious disease emergencies and disasters, and identify the common role that universal health coverage plays in preparing societies for these unexpected threats to human well-being.
Universal Health Coverage in the Context of Aging
In Module 3, we will introduce the basic concept of universal health coverage (UHC), some technical aspects of health financing, and methods for measuring and improving UHC systems. We will also discuss the challenges to UHC posed by aging and development, including for developing countries. Finally, we will explore policy solutions to aging, and look at new policies being used around the world to improve and strengthen UHC systems.
The Future of Japan's Health System: Sustaining Good Health with Equity at Low Cost
One of the central themes in today’s global health policy is the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). The recent Ebola crisis has indicated that not only responses, but preparedness is key to tackling health emergencies. There is a growing consensus that a set of low-cost, smart investments at country level has the potential to make a significant difference in building resilient health systems. Japan achieved UHC in 1961 at a time of rapid economic development, while the country was still relatively poor. Japan has achieved some of the best population health outcomes at relatively low cost with equity over half a century. However, Japan is facing a huge demographic and fiscal challenge to sustain its health system. In this module, we will review the historical context for Japan’s health system development, examine current challenges to its sustainability, and examine ongoing efforts to reform the system. The major objective is to share important lessons in current debates on global health policy and governance from Japan’s experiences.
Hiroshi Nishiura, Stuart Gilmour and Kenji Shibuya