I think that the declaration does put down some useful markers for us; I noted in particular the following (some of which shows gratifying signs of the input from the HIFA Astana Working Group during the consultation phase!):
The vision statement that included: "Enabling and health-conducive environments in which individuals and communities are empowered and engaged in maintaining and enhancing their health and well-being"€
The main text statements:
- We will apply knowledge, including scientific as well as traditional knowledge, to strengthen PHC, improve health outcomes and ensure access for all people to the right care at the right time and at the most appropriate level of care
- Through digital and other technologies, we will enable individuals and communities to identify their health needs, participate in the planning and delivery of services and play an active role in maintaining their own health and well-being.
- We will promote health literacy and work to satisfy the expectations of individuals and communities for reliable information about health. We will support people in acquiring the knowledge, skills and resources needed to maintain their health or the health of those for whom they care, guided by health professionals.
It would have been good to have seen reference to other important issues - for example the need for universal access to healthcare information as a prerequisite for, indeed as a key component of, universal health coverage. However, HIFA will need to work with the declaration as it stands (and where it has gaps, to pursue our aims by other avenues, e.g , the UN IAEG-SDG, UHC2030 etc.). For example, we might follow up the declaration with some practical suggestions on implementation of its elements that are most related to the aims of HIFA, e.g. what is needed to operationalise the three statements noted above.
HIFA profile: Geoff Royston is an Independent Health Analyst and Researcher, former Head of Strategic Analysis and Operational Research in the Department of Health for England, and Past President of the UK Operational Research Society. His work has focused on informing the design, implementation and evaluation of policies and programmes in health and social care, and on fostering the capabilities of others to work in these areas. Associated activities have included modelling for understanding the performance of complex systems, analysis and communication of risk, and horizon scanning and futures thinking. He has also worked on information and communication technology in the health sector, notably in leading the design and national launch of the telephone and online health information and advice service NHS Direct. He has served on both scientific and medical UK Research Council panels, and as an impact assessor for the UK higher education Research Excellence Framework. He is a member of the editorial board for the journal Health Care Management Science and in 2012 was Guest Editor for its special issue on Global Health. He has been a consultant for the World Health Organisation, is a long standing member of the EURO Working Group on Operational Research Applied to Health Services, and is an expert adviser to the mHIFA (mobile Healthcare Information for All) programme. http://www.hifa.org/projects/mobile-hifa-mhifa He is also a member of the HIFA working group on Evaluating the Impact of Healthcare Information.
geoff.royston AT gmail.com