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    297410

    Can global health be good business? [editorial]

    Lister J

    Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2006 Mar; 11(3):255-257.

    A lavishly sponsored Global Health Summit conference in New York organized in early November by Time magazine included a panel discussion on the pertinent issue of whether global health can be good for business,1 and in the process highlighted many of the contradictions confronting health care providers, policy makers and planners the world over. Attempts to graft compassion onto the root stock of global capitalism have been only partially successful, if at all. Certainly none of the big players in the $3 trillion plus health care industry - whether they be pharmaceutical corporations, equipment manufacturers, hospital chains or health insurers - has been able to demonstrate any long term or sustained commitment to the delivery of health care services to the billions of people in low income countries who currently lack access to them. Many of the 'Global Public Private Partnerships' favoured by the WHO appear to serve largely as public relations campaigns for the private sector 'partners' and also as a means to help them to secure and potentially expand their longer-term market for drugs and vaccines. Meanwhile some of the largest donors supporting such partnerships come from outside of the health care industry altogether - most notably Bill and Melinda Gates, whose benevolent billions also help make Microsoft's cosmic profits seem more socially acceptable. (excerpt)
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