27th May 2008, Lausanne
This was my second year teaching on the course run by Alberto Holly in Lausanne. The title of this year’s course was “Mastering the new challenges of health care”. There is a wonderfully diverse mix of students, making the discussions especially rich. My sessions were on health system performance and the future of health care. These are both topics I have spoken about many times before. Predicting the future is never easy. A few have managed it successfully, such as Jules Verne and HG Wells, but even they recognised their limitations and, as far as I know, never staked their fortunes on the outcome of a horse race! Yet there is one thing that we can be fairly certain about, and that is that health care in the future will be much more complex than it is now, with aging populations suffering from multiple disorders, each interacting with one another, with their ability to function secured by a complex mix of medicines that have never been tested in combination, and especially in people with impaired liver and kidney function. This poses real challenges for modern health systems, something Ellen Nolte and I will be looking at in our new book on the health system response to chronic disease, due out in September.