Aussies Fight Global Health Problems

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By Athena Yenko | December 10, 2013 5:16 PM EST

Australians in medical professions are set to make an impact improving global health problems as they attend the World Innovation Summit for Health held in Qatar.

The summit, which started on Dec 10,  was aimed to start the discussion on global health problems and encourage nations to uptake innovative approaches for dealing with some of the world's most pressing healthcare challenges, including obesity, mental health, road traffic injuries, accountable care, antimicrobial resistance, end-of-life, patient engagement, and big data & healthcare.

Chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, the Summit brings together more than 500 global health innovators including heads of state, ministers, senior government officials, academics and influential business leaders.

"Healthy populations and good healthcare are priorities for every nation. Yet healthcare providers around the world are faced with critical challenges: delivering quality and affordable healthcare; financing the discovery of the best prevention techniques and interventions; and integrating this knowledge into public health and social policies. WISH will champion radical innovation in health in order to implement positive changes across the globe," Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser said.

Australia's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Baggoley, University of Melbourne dean of medicine Professor Stephen Smith, and Translational Research Institute CEO Professor Ian Frazer are among the Australians who are attending the summit.

According to Mr Smith attending the summit helps Australia to better understand health problems around the globe.

"Australia has highly commendable health outcomes, far better than the US or UK, so it is an opportunity to showcase the country, but at the same time to see if there are some areas that we can do even better. This also allows us to be seen on the global stage and for major industry to see Australia as a leading centre in which it can develop products," Mr Smith told AAP.

"Australia has been a world leader in some areas of mental health. We need to share our experience but learn from others. The combination of our small size and ability to adapt to technology makes Australia a great place to test innovative approaches. If we are caring, clever and innovative, Australia can lead the world in mental health services, programs and outcomes," Mr Smith added.

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