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Health systems resilience and preparedness: critical displacements and disruption

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Mickey Chopra, Toby Kasper

Summary box

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has presented an opportunity to reconsider health systems from the perspective of resilience and pandemic prevention and preparedness.

  • Lessons from previous epidemics along with insights from other fields have not only already given rise to a burgeoning literature on elements of such systems but have also systematically underplayed key elements such as power.

  • We argue that the current framing of the issues is displacing several more fundamental drivers of poor systems performance and population outcomes such as political economy, politics and history.

  • The incorporation of a broader framing of the issues leads to a very different approach towards analysing the causes and formulating the response to build more resilient and just health systems.