The NHS should do more for the world's health

A report by former head of the NHS, Lord Nigel Crisp, emphasises that the UK needs to increase its efforts to support the health systems of the world's poorest countries.

Lord Crisp
Lord Crisp
The Government has responded to this report by pledging £1 million over two years for the Global Health Workforce Alliance (GHWA).

Lord Crisp's review, commissioned by the Prime Minister, sets out 16 key recommendations on how the UK can contribute to health services in poor countries including:
  • Increasing the quality of health worker training in poor countries - and helping countries retain their health workers.
  • Responding more effectively to humanitarian disasters.
  • Enhancing partnerships between UK institutions and developing countries, to allow sharing of best practice.

Lord Crisp has also recommended an 'eBay-style' website where countries can publicise their need for health resources.

The GHWA is an international partnership set up in May 2006 to raise awareness, bring together and maximise current efforts of governments, donors and agencies to tackle the shortage of doctors and nurses in the world’s poorest countries.

Secretary of State for Health, Patricia Hewitt, said: 'Lord Crisp's report is a crucial contribution to the way the UK contributes to strengthening the health capacity of the poorest parts of the world. Government now needs to look at how it can work together to take forward these recommendations, to support developing country plans and add practical value to work already underway.

'Many NHS staff have close links with developing countries - and already make a real contribution to health services in poorer countries.'

The report can be found on the DoH website.

See our Editors' blog for more comment on Lord Crisp's report concerning the NHS and world health.

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