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A dress rehearsal for the problems of the 21st century

In our latest episode of Julius Baer’s True Connections podcast, Julius Baer International CEO, David Durlacher, speaks with Dr. Peter Drobac, Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Oxford, about what the pandemic has taught us about global healthcare and what trends we may see in the future.




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Click on the player below to hear David and Peter’s conversation:

True connections podcast: A dress rehearsal for the problems of the 21st century


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  • We spoke with Peter in August 2020, shortly after many countries began easing their social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The speed and intensity of the response from the global scientific community to develop treatments and vaccines has been remarkable. Not only will we hopefully see a vaccine developed in record time, but Peter suggests that we may also see a spill over in terms of bio-medical discovery from the work done to combat COVID-19 that will help in our response to health crises in the future.

    On the other hand, the pandemic has thrown a spotlight on a number of problems with our current assumptions of our healthcare systems. An example of this is society’s focus on medical care - what happens in response to people getting sick - as opposed to public health, which is what happens upstream to stop people from getting sick in the first place. As Peter explains, prior investment of a few billion into public health systems could have offset trillions in economic losses in places like the UK and US. However, it’s important to remember that a nationalistic approach won’t solve the issue entirely. Viewing countries’ infections and deaths rates like some sort of league table misses the point. Peter argues that in future, we need to have greater cooperation among different countries in order to make better decisions about the deployment of resources rather than competing against one another. A key question that David poses in the podcast is whether health inequality across the globe will be exposed enough to warrant change or whether heath care systems will cope well enough that we retain the status quo. Click the player above to hear of Peter’s thoughts on the future of healthcare.

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