Editorials

Exchanging health lessons globally

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7434.239 (Published 29 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:239
  1. Tessa Richards, assistant editor (trichards@bmj.com)

    BMJ issue will focus on lessons rich countries can learn from poor ones

    The link between expenditure on health and health outcomes is not straightforward. Despite burgeoning health budgets, few countries in the developed world can claim to be delivering universally high quality, equitable health care. Could they have something to learn from less developed countries, whose meagre resources have long ensured that cost effectiveness is a dominant consideration?

    Certainly, massive health bureaucracies and well endowed research institutions do not have a monopoly on wisdom. Examples of industrialised countries adopting treatments and strategies that were developed or pioneered in developing countries range from oral rehydration therapy (which was developed and widely used in Bangladesh before its slow but now global uptake) to limited lists of essential medicines. The experience in low and medium income countries of introducing national policies based on restricted lists of cost effective, affordable medicines over two decades …

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