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New report analyses the UK's contribution to global health

A major new report by researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine for the UK's influential All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges for the UK as a leader in global health.

The report was launched at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health at Portcullis House on Monday 29 June with senior health policy makers. Speakers included George Freeman MP, Life Sciences Minister; Lord Howell, Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society: Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust; and Lord Kakkar, UK Business Ambassador for Healthcare and Life Sciences.

Introducing the report, entitled The UK's contribution to health globally: benefiting the country and the world, Meg Hillier MP and Lord Crisp, co-chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group said: "The UK is a global power in health. It has world class universities and research, is a global leader in health policy and international development, has strong life sciences industries, a vibrant and diverse not-for-profit sector and exercises profound influence on health services globally. However, a combination of external competition, internal policy, and poor coordination could damage all of these assets - particularly if the UK fails to respond to changing power and perspectives across the world."

The report was prepared by researchers Nadeem Hasan, Sarah Curran, Arnoupe Jhass, Shoba Poduval and Helena Legido-Quigley from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. It describes in detail the UK's footprint on health globally across academia, government, commerce, and not-for-profit sectors.

Professor Baron Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said: "This report shows how the UK is now leading the way in many aspects of global health and development, particularly in research and innovation, partnership with commercial and not-for-profit sectors, universal health coverage and emergency response.

"However, there are many challenges ahead, and barriers including immigration restrictions on health professionals, researchers and postgraduate students. The government needs to take a strategic, coordinated approach to address these, to ensure that we can build on the UK's unique expertise and realise the opportunities for the UK economy and global influence, and our shared purpose improving health worldwide."

George Freeman MP, Life Sciences Minister, said: "Congratulations on this report, which goes to the heart of this country's mission for health. We have a moral duty, and it is in our mutual interest to put our international expertise in public health and infectious disease to work around the world."

Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "This report is superb in showing how far we have come, but we cannot be complacent. The world is facing enormous challenges, and we need strong global organisations with authority and leadership. We also need to be outward-looking, to pull through innovation and invest in the next generation."

The 197-page report and a 10-page executive summary are available to download from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health website: The UK's contribution to health globally: benefiting the country and the world.

The report is the subject of a full-page column in The Times by Matt Ridley, and the authors have written a commentary in The Lancet.