Critical Debate on the Future of Healthcare

A Foreword on The Future of Health Institute

Our editors explain how FOHI invited authors will contribute to healthcare's future through education, understanding and discourse

We greatly exaggerate, at our own expense, the ability of doctors to cure us of the myriad afflictions that befall us. The idea that modern medicine fully understands the human body and can restore health is a fallacy, one we cling to in the hope that when (not if) we require medical assistance it will be forthcoming. Our health is our most precious possession and yet, we abuse it with little forethought. Most of us come to late to this realization.

Robert Turner, Founding Editor

Health is the one universal constant that binds us as humans. It is blind to race, color, creed and even ignores the financial insulation of wealth and status. We are born patients and we die patients. The coming decades pose very real challenges for our species, some would even argue, insurmountable ones. FOHI seeks to address the floundering condition of global health amidst continued pandemics and a burgeoning global population

We do so by engaging the brightest minds in healthcare and allied sectors, in an effort to identify the ills that plague our industry and arrive at workable solutions through open and uncensored discourse. These luminaries thoughts and vision for healthcare’s shared future matter and we are grateful and privileged to feature their work on these pages.

The following thoughts are included from our editors, hopefully providing a clearer understanding of the goals, vision and aspirations of FOHI

Robert Turner, Founder – Medika Life, MedKoin

Health enjoys a symbiotic relationship with almost every sector of modern society, each in it’s own way influencing the evolution of healthcare. None is perhaps more relevant today to this relationship than the environmental sector, with technology coming in a close second. What transpires in these two sectors over the coming decade will irrevocably shape the health industry for decades to come.

While the relationships described above cannot and should not be ignored by those unfurling health strategy for the 22nd century, we also have to be mindful of pressures exerted both from within and without the industry. Politics, business and technology that seek to mold healthcare into a vision more akin to their own image. Unlike its compatriots, although healthcare enjoys a prominent place in the eco-system we term modern society, it is also unique.

It is unique to every human on the planet, health the one experience we all share, all benefit from or suffer for the lack thereof. Humanity has to be the key focus driving healthcare, ensuring our tools, treatments and medicines are as accessible as possible and that care is delivered equitably. The industry also bears a responsibility to it’s poorer global cousins to ensure that wealth, or the lack thereof, does not become the primary criteria for access to care.

Noble sentiments that, in a world driven by humanity and empathy, rather than profit for the sake thereof, would be eminently achievable. It is our hope that the words contained in these essays will in part produce exactly these results. Careful, openly debated and thoughtful constructs that guide healthcare and the people that drive it, toward a better future. One where all humanity benefits.

Gil Bashe, Chair Global Health and Purpose, FINN Partners

We’re confronted with a looming problem. The environment is in poor health. Everything the environment sustains — plants, animals, our communities, our businesses, our families, and ourselves — are now equally at risk of poor health. As we experience record heat waves, fires burning in the western U.S. for the last decade, devastating flooding in Central Europe, polluted water, and a global pandemic driven in large part by environmental factors, that couldn’t be clearer.

And yet, galvanizing support for environmental and human health remains difficult. Ecological protection, politicized for the short-term gain, remains a hot button in the halls of power. Still, it’s becoming an issue discussed at global breakfast tables, as nations, communities, and corporations are starting to reach consensus, supporting the environment for the sake of health and wellbeing. We must come to terms with the reality that the planet does not need us. We need a healthy world to sustain ourselves in the future. We need to embrace our purpose.

There are still immense challenges, and they hinge on communications. People, communities, and businesses possess enough power to affect the change needed to address public health priorities that require us to look closely and enage social determinates of health, climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation. We know these problems will not disappear miraculously on their own. We must bring our voices and commitment forward to heal ourselves and the planet. We must learn to harness our great ideas through collaboration. And, we must come to terms with the reality that humanity does not lack innovation or the means to deploy and help others. It requires leadership, communication and recognition that our planetary fate is intertwined.

As communicators, authors and editors, we must tell it like it is. That means not only being truthful; it means using plain language that everyone can understand, and using words that have power and work to make the point. As experts in this discipline of rallying toward common concerns, this is our moment. This is why the Future of Health is a needed and unique resource – it is a welcoming home to change agents.

Humanity is in a struggle for sustainability and the stakes are enormous. Words are the tools that will help us win it, and we must choose them carefully. We need words with power, value, and emotional impact that convey deeper meanings. We need to ensure these words are heard across platforms and geographies. 

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FOHI Editorial Team
FOHI Editorial Team
Articles and investigative pieces commissioned by the Future of Health and authored by our staff are published under the banner of our Editorial team. Views expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect the views of all our editorial staff. For more information on individual authors contributions to an article, please contact us.

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