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Global health leaders

Features — Posted 06/12/13

Learn about healthcare from the global leaders.

Continuing the theme of our recent ‘Health of the Nation’ feature, we’re exploring health at a global level.

On 27 November, Medibank Managing Director George Savvides hosted the Medibank Better Health Partners CEO Roundtable in Sydney.

Guests included 17 leading thinkers in the Australasian health sector, including the Australian Minister for Health, The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Chris Rex, CEO of Ramsay Healthcare, the President of the AMA, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Consumer Health Forum. The Roundtable featured presentations from two of the world's most respected leaders on health reform – George Halvorson, Executive Chairman of Kaiser Permanente (the largest integrated health plan and hospital system in the USA) and Willem Van Duin, Chairman of the Executive Board of Achmea (the largest health and life insurance provider in the Netherlands).

Attendees were also invited to participate in discussions around international and Australian healthcare.

George Savvides said, “Kaiser Permanente and Achmea are both leading health organisations and it has been great to spend time with George and Willem and share ideas and ways we can be better at customer centred healthcare."

We recorded an interview with George Halvorson, Willem Van Duin and George Savvides on the day. We learnt not only the challenges and opportunities within healthcare in Australia, the US and The Netherlands but also the innovative global health initiatives being taken towards better health.

George Savvides shares with us how Medibank aims to improve the health of all Australians by encouraging small steps people can take every day, working towards long-term, meaningful health outcomes. George explains that it’s not about athletes, it’s about everyday Australians making the decision to swap the fries for the fresh fruit and veggies. Underpinning this belief, Medibank members are now rewarded for making healthy food choices, with the tripling of their Flybuys rewards points with the purchase of fruit and vegetables from Coles.

George Halvorson outlines how his organisation, Kaiser Permanente, has been able to digitise the medical records of its nine million members, explaining how this process has led to significantly improved health outcomes. Kaiser Permanente has a large focus on the promotion of walking – an activity that most people can take part in. Regular walking is linked to reduction in rates of diabetes and heart disease.

Willem Van duin, who has been significantly involved in major health reform in The Netherlands, states how the benefits of this reform contribute to social and health improvement for all in his country. Beyond health reform, Willem highlights the important role of technology to develop affordable health solutions to meet the growing and changing population needs.

Watch the video above to hear more about healthcare models overseas, the influence technology has played on health, the key developments these leaders have brought about to improve health outcomes, and where they see the future of healthcare heading.

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