I feel it’s part of my job to make the problems of the poor compelling.
It is clear that the pharmaceutical industry is not, by any stretch of the imagination, doing enough to ensure that the poor have access to adequate medical care.
Anywhere you have extreme poverty and no national health insurance, no promise of health care regardless of social standing, that’s where you see the sharp limitations of market-based health care.
The biggest public health challenge is rebuilding health systems. In other words, if you look at cholera or maternal mortality or tuberculosis in Haiti, they’re major problems in Haiti, but the biggest problem is rebuilding systems.
I don’t know much about climate change. But I’m pretty sure we better figure out what to do to lessen its impact – at least its health impact – and that’s not going to happen unless you have a lot of young talent interested in these topics.
You can’t have public health without a public health system. We just don’t want to be part of a mindless competition for resources. We want to build back capacity in the system.
What the American public thinks is very important to the future of global health. Many people are moved by the idea that there is unnecessary suffering in the world, and we could do a lot to stop it. We have the technologies necessary to stop most of the suffering.
I mean, everybody should have access to medical care. And, you know, it shouldn’t be such a big deal.
We’ve taken on the major health problems of the poorest – tuberculosis, maternal mortality, AIDS, malaria – in four countries. We’ve scored some victories in the sense that we’ve cured or treated thousands and changed the discourse about what is possible.
The poorest parts of the world are by and large the places in which one can best view the worst of medicine and not because doctors in these countries have different ideas about what constitutes modern medicine. It’s the system and its limitations that are to blame.