The well-being of humanity is based on the development of health which is commonly and widely accepted as the ethical principle of equity. Over the recent decades, the issue of health has gained great importance as a major driver of socio-economic progress around the globe, with more resources than ever being invested in this sector. In a general overview, people are healthier, wealthier and live longer today than 30 years ago. According to the 2008 issue of the World Health Report, if children were still dying at 1978 rates, there would have been 16.2 million deaths globally in 2006 (where the actual figure was 9.5 million). This difference of 6.7 million means that 18,329 children’s lives were saved every day.
However, the Report also mentions other issues that should gain serious attention: First, the substantial progress in health development over the recent decades has been deeply unequal, with convergence towards improved health in a large part of the world, but at the same time, with a considerable number of countries increasingly lagging behind or even losing ground (Inequality). Second, the nature of health problems is changing in ways that were only partially anticipated, and at a rate that was wholly unexpected; Ageing and the effects of ill-managed urbanisation and globalisation accelerate worldwide transmission of communicable diseases and increase the burden of chronic and non-communicable disorders (Nature). Third, health systems are not isolated from the rapid pace of change and transformation that is an essential part of today’s globalisation; Economic and political crises challenge state and institutional roles to ensure access, delivery and financing of health care (Externalities).
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Health Systems and Expenditure in the OIC Member Countries (English) (French)