(Berlin, October 15, 2017) With more than 1,000 participants on site, the 9th World Health Summit kicked off on Sunday in Berlin. In his opening speech, German Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe said that global health policy has become a hallmark of Germany’s international responsibility: “We will continue, in the future, to fulfill this international responsibility and actively shape global health policy. In this process, it is important to have close cooperation based on trust between politicians and civil society, foundations, scientists and business circles. The World Health Summit in Berlin is also a forum that is held in high international esteem and is dedicated to jointly furthering global health.”
His Portuguese counterpart, Minister of Health Adalberto Campos Fernandes, emphasized the urgent need to focus on health education systems to develop a common global health curriculum.
World Health Summit President Detlev Ganten highlighted the crucial role science assumes for global health: “Academia is taking responsibility for major global challenges. Among them, we believe health to be the most important for both individuals and societies.”
The new Director-General of the World Health Organization Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reiterated in a video message that access to health services must be safe and high quality: “Universal health coverage is within reach for all countries at all income levels. It’s a political choice, and the best investment for a safer, fairer and healthier world.”
Joanne Liu, International President of Doctors Without Borders, who has just returned from the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh on Thursday, challenged attending politicians and industry representatives not to rebrand global health as global health security – especially against the backdrop of the war against terrorism. “Aid is given only if wealthy nations feel threatened by a crisis. Otherwise, the crisis is a non-event. As long as we view crises through a lens of security, global health responses will be triggered by threats rather than medical needs – and people’s health will be sidelined.”
The evening’s other speakers included Nobel Prize laureate and Stanford Professor Roger D. Kornberg, CEO of Bayer AG Werner Baumann and Roche Chairman Christoph Franz.
The second day of the World Health Summit (Monday, October 16) will focus on health policy in the G7/G20, digital innovation, global health security and startups.
Speakers will include:
– Neil Jordan (General Manager, Health Worldwide, Microsoft, USA) and Georg Schütte (State Secretary, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) on “Health Policy in the G7/G20”: Keynote Lecture, 11:00-12:30
– Steven Hildemann (CMO / Head of Global Medical Affairs and Global Drug Safety, Merck, Germany), Carla Kriwet (CEO, Connected Care & Health Informatics, Royal Philips, USA) and Thomas P. Laur (President, SAP Health, SAP, USA) on “Innovations in Digital Health”: Keynote Lecture, 14:00-16:00
– Wolfgang Ischinger (Chairman, Munich Security Conference, Germany), Peter Albiez (CEO, Pfizer, Germany) and Peter Salama (Executive Director, Health Emergencies Programme, WHO, Switzerland) on “Global Health Security”: Panel Discussion, 16:30-18:00
Beginning at 12:45, 10 health startups from six countries will pitch their concepts for the future of healthcare in front of a jury and audience. 70 startups from 25 countries competed for the chance to take part. The high patron of the competition, German Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe, will award the winner that evening.
The World Health Summit is open to media representatives:
Information on speakers and topics of the World Health Summit 2017:
Central topics: Health Policy in the G7/G20, Vaccine Research and Development, Big Data for Health Governance, Global Health Security, Healthy and Resilient Cities, Creating Global Health Innovations with Africa, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The World Health Summit 2017 will be held from October 15-17 at Kosmos (Karl-Marx-Allee 131a) in Berlin. Under the high patronage of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President of the Republic of France Emmanuel Macron and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, it is the premiere international platform for exploring strategic developments and decisions in the area of healthcare.
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