Ready for the Next Crisis? Investing in Health System Resilience

image of Ready for the Next Crisis? Investing in Health System Resilience

The COVID-19 pandemic had massive consequences for societies and health systems across the OECD and beyond. Health systems were not resilient enough. Resilient health systems plan and are ready for shocks, such as pandemics, economic crises or the effects of climate change. They are able to minimise the negative consequences of crises, recover as quickly as possible, and adapt to become better performing and more prepared. Smart, targeted investments in health system resilience are needed to improve health and ensure the next shock is less disruptive and costly. This report reviews the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and applies them to build policy recommendations to ensure the global community is ready for the next crisis. The reviews and recommendations cover health system issues – including workforce, digitalisation, continuity of care and mental health – and other topics, including long-term care, supply chains and international co-operation.


Containment and mitigation strategies for pandemics

Containment and mitigation strategies are the only viable measures to counter a pandemic before effective pharmaceutical interventions are available. These measures require a variety of societal capacities and resources, delivered in a harmonised manner, to achieve the best outcomes and minimise unintended consequences. This chapter reviews the core capacities traditionally emphasised in preparedness for public health emergencies, and summarises actions taken by OECD countries to combat the COVID‑19 pandemic. Based on global experiences and national lessons learnt from the crisis response, this chapter investigates gaps between preparedness and actual response. Drawing on these findings, it outlines what capacities need to be strengthened, and how these efforts can be supported, to better prepare for the next pandemic and, more broadly, to improve resilience in national health systems.


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