The global health system: Strengthening National health systems as the next step for global progress


This article by Frenk (2010) resonated with me.  It is succinct article that provides commentary of where to next regarding health system innovation.  The author guides the reader briskly through his lens of the current situation in health to what he sees as the future directions. Frenk (2010) states that health is being increasingly recognised as a key element of sustainable economic development, recognition of its importance and new initiatives can enable progress in global health. Frenk (2010) asks readers to think about the health system more broadly and to expand our thinking beyond the current reductionist view held by many. He offers the acronym LIST for improvement, these determinants of leadership, institutions, systems design and technologies, enumerated in decreasing order of complexity from the bottom up are responsible for variations in performance by different health systems.

It is the ‘L’ for leadership that interested me in this article.  He describes leadership as the complex challenge in health systems, as there is a need toi nurture persons who can develop strategic vision, technical knowledge, political skills and ethical orientation. To me, on one level, this sounds like clinical supervisors! Frenk (2010) discusses knowledge and action and indicates the interrelationship from the micro to the macro with innovations within health systems being learning opportunities.  Clinical supervisors on the grown level have the opportunity to effect change that can transform the next generation of nurses in a multiple of ways including nurturing and modelling leadership; encouraging knowledge and skill acquisition; guiding students to ask questions, challenge the status quo and develop evidence-based practice.  Each little gain assists with strengthening the health system.

This is my last blog for 2016 and so I leave you with the thought about the role of nurses, leading and influencing in health.  The nursing profession is the largest of the registered health professions and therefore we have opportunity to influence and improve health outcomes and truly become integral to guiding and driving the health agenda, 2017 can be a year for leadership.

I wish you all a safe and enjoyable festive season, knowing that many of you will continue to ensure our patients, clients or consumers are cared for, when the rest of us get a break.  I hope 2017, brings health and joy. I will blog again next year… Please join us @PEPCommunity.

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