The Interplay of Global Health, Social Well-being and Economic Development: Investing in Health for a More Prosperous Future. This session is curated by Novartis. Global health systems are still grappling with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, which socially and economically impacted vulnerable communities particularly severely. The pandemic and its aftermath highlighted the intricate interplay between health, social well-being, economic development, and health financing in both low-income and high-income countries. Good health and economic growth are mutually reinforcing. Investment in health can contribute to economic development, and economic development can, in turn, contribute to better health outcomes. For example, investing in health can help break the cycle of poverty and poor health. Health outcomes are closely linked to social well-being. Social determinants of health, such as poverty, unemployment, or social isolation, can have negative impacts on physical and mental health. Conversely, social support, social inclusion, and the satisfaction of basic needs such as food security and safe housing can have positive impacts on health outcomes. Therefore, equitable and accessible healthcare not only affects the physical and mental health and well-being of individuals and their broader communities, but also countries’ economic performance and social cohesion. A lack thereof increases both pandemic risks and global inequality. While national health systems face different challenges, such as malnutrition in low and middle-income countries, or demographic ageing and chronic diseases in high-income countries, good health for all remains both a universal factor for societal and economic well-being and a fundamental global challenge. Investing in global health through increased public, private, and institutional spending and investments in healthcare – including universal health coverage and healthcare workforce, and particularly in low- and middle-income countries –, research and development, and preparedness for future pandemics and other health crises, can contribute to improved health outcomes, social well-being, and economic development. An integrated, systemic approach that considers these complex interrelations is key to making a leap in improving global health outcomes. With this in mind, the session will explore how global common goods for health can be established through improved international health governance and financing.
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