Editorials

Knowledge for better health

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7475.1120 (Published 11 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1120
  1. Kamran Abbasi, acting editor (kabbasi@bmj.com)
  1. BMJ

    WHO's plan to strengthen health systems requires greater clarity

    This month's world report on knowledge for better health makes common cause with medical journals.1 Its focus on research has encouraged this week's theme issue,2 a series of articles in the Lancet,3 and a theme issue in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.4 What is more, all these publications kick off a ministerial summit and this year's global forum for health research in Mexico, both of which will address the issue of failing research in failing health systems. Indeed, after a lengthy consultation process, “strengthening health systems” is the subtext of all this activity.

    “There is a gap between today's scientific advances and their application: between what we know and what is actually being done,” says Dr Lee Jong-wook, the World Health Organization's director general. This is a familiar riff, particularly to readers of our recent theme issue on whether evidence based medicine makes a difference to patients.5 Some experts now believe that evidence based medicine …

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