Medical experts say health care needs ‘democratization’ during WEF cancer discussion

Medical experts say health care needs ‘democratization’ during WEF cancer discussion
Medica experts on Friday called for the democratization of healthcare globally during a WEF discussion. (Screen grab)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Medical experts say health care needs ‘democratization’ during WEF cancer discussion

Medical experts say health care needs ‘democratization’ during WEF cancer discussion
  • In terms of cancer care, treatment often depends on “social status”

Medica experts on Friday called for the democratization of healthcare globally during a World Economic Forum (WEF) discussion on “Breakthroughs in Cancer Care.”

“There is a social aspect of cancer care. There are people who cannot get basic access to care, so we have a lot of social responsibility. We need to democratise health care,” Chairman and Managing Director of VPS Healthcare, Shamsheer Vayalil said.

Vayalil discussed the issues many around the world who are unable to access healthcare for basic treatments.

In terms of cancer care, treatment often depends on “social status” and “where you live,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said, explaining that it can make a difference of survival of a patient.

Although cancer death rates have fallen by nearly 20 percent in the past 30 years, this is due to early detection and treatment, the experts said.

According to the WEF, despite significant progress, cancer continues to be the number one killer of working-age adults and costs society billions in lost productivity.

Vayalil says that pharmaceutical companies to go beyond the west to treat illness.

“We want to attract bigger pharmas to focus on the other side of the world. We want to do research on the Arab genome, on the Asians. We want to be more proactive.” He said.

Despite many government-led efforts to increase racial, ethnic and gender diversity in research studies, progress has been slow in all parts of the world, a report by the WEF said.