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Remco van de Pas

Remco is a Research Fellow Global Health Policy, ITM Antwerp & Academic coordinator, Maastricht Centre for Global Health, Maastricht University
 

Blogs

Global Skills Partnerships and Health Workforce Migration: Caught between a rock and a hard place

‘Caught between a rock and a hard place’ is the expression (and Stones song ) that comes to mind having visited Marrakesh recently. Until a few months before the adoption of the (now notorious) UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, quiet diplomacy and technical discussions guided its development process. At the time of ...

The old is dying and the new cannot be born (yet)

Antonio Gramsci wrote around 1930 that the crisis precisely consists in the fact that “The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum, a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” This quote was used by Jane Kelsey, a law professor from the University of Auckland, during the opening plenary session of the 4th People’s Heal...

Global health in the age of dissonance

Dissonance: Def. 1. n. A harsh, disagreeable combination of sounds; discord, 2.n. Lack of agreement, consistency, or harmony; conflict  (The Free Dictionary). This is the sentiment that stayed with me after having participated in the 5th global conference on Health Systems Research in Liverpool and directly afterwards, the 10th World Health Sum...

The WHO and New Public Management: Value for Money or heading for a Cruel Disappointment?

In the early days of the New Year, i find myself looking into some of the background documents for the upcoming Executive Board (EB) meeting of WHO later this month, EB 142.  After the last special Board meeting in November 2017 (EBSS4), where WHO’s new DG Dr. Tedros discussed a (revised) draft version of WHO’s ambitious 13th Global Program...

Far Away, Yet So Close: Musings on climate and health action

On a rainy, misty day I found myself travelling early in the morning to Bonn, Germany. The former capital of West Germany (for the younger readers of this blog ) hosts this year’s annual global climate change negotiations, the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP 23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). My des...

What does the Mugabe story tell us about power in global health governance?

The global health community recently witnessed the first major test of the new WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus’s nascent tenure. On October 22 2017, following several days of intense outrage and scrutiny, particularly in the news and on social media, the Director-General rescinded the appointment of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s longtim...

Ready for a paradigm shift in global health?

Last week, I participated in three consecutively-held global health seminars which focused on the changing nature of health cooperation and the increasing prominence of global health in international politics. Coincidentally, all meetings referred to (the need for) a paradigm shift in global health and the transformative change required to attai...

Health, Jobs and the Economy: the workforce revolution

This week marked a historic moment for the global health workforce community. The High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, chaired by France’s President François Hollande and South-Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, delivered its final report and recommendations to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on the sidelines of the ...

Dialogue on international health workforce mobility in Abidjan: why health labour markets are important for foreign policy

Last week, I was in Abidjan, the ‘economic’ capital of the Ivory Coast. I was invited by the WHO to facilitate a dialogue on international health workforce mobility during an inter-sectoral consultation of policymakers and partners in Francophone countries.  This consultation feeds into a UN High Level Commission on Health Employment and Ec...

Health workforce 2030: a transformative agenda?

Next week, WHO’s Executive Board will discuss the draft Global Strategy on human resources for health: Workforce 2030. If all goes well, the final version will be endorsed at the 69th World Health Assembly in May. Workforce 2030 provides a new and progressive health workforce agenda. A decade ago, The World Health report 2006 already estimated...

Emerging Voices for Global Health are all set for Vancouver!

It’s over a year now since the third global symposium on health systems research took place in Cape Town. At the symposium, the science and practice of people-centred health systems took center stage. Almost 2000 participants represented 125 countries in Cape Town, so it clearly was a global conference. The 2014 edition of the Emerging Voice...

Beyond resilience

Resilience is the next “big thing” in global health and health systems development. It is a reaction to the impact of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the financial meltdown in the US and EU, and global climate change. The principle has been firmly anchored in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “By 2030, build the resilience of t...

Resisting Resilience: The Revenge of the Zombies

‘Resisting Resilience’ was the title of the most inspiring presentation I attended in the last half year.  Early June, Mark Neocleous, a professor of the Critique of Political Economy,  presented his view at a conference on the resilience discourse organized by Medico International in Frankfurt. If you want to know what makes his argument ...

A Social Contract for Global Health Investments in Times of Resilience

The last year saw the re-emergence of a century-old economic idea, namely that investing in health is (good) value for money. The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health (CIH), prompted by the 20th anniversary of the 1993 World Development Report, has argued that a Grand Convergence in health is possible by the year 2035. Global health 2035: a ...

Crucial times for Global Health Workforce Governance

The Ebola epidemic in the Western African Region has reminded the international community why it is so important to have a skilled health workforce in place to provide essential and universal health services.  It is a crucial requirement to contain outbreaks of re-emerging infectious diseases. Sadly, it is this very scarce workforce that has be...

The World Health Organization’s response to Ebola: The devil in dealing with post-Westphalian pathogens is not (only) in the detail

The contrast has been remarkable, to say the least, between the in your face health & social situation in Guinea  – which I visited a few weeks ago – and the rather formal diplomatic discussions at the WHO Executive Board Special Session on Ebola last weekend. The heat in Conakry and the cold snow in Geneva were only partly responsible for this...

On politics and the Ebola pathogen. Why does community resistance persist in Guinea?

Remco Van de  Pas is currently for a research assignment in Guinea, one of three countries in West Africa affected by Ebola. Together with the national research center for training and promotion of rural health (CNFRSR) of Maférinyah, Conakry, the Institute of Tropical Medicine will explore policies and possibilities to strengthen the public h...

The health workforce as a crucial bottleneck in containing Ebola

Remco Van de  Pas  (ITM) is currently for a research assignment in Guinea, one of three countries in West Africa affected by Ebola. Together with the national research center for training and promotion of rural health (CNFRSR) of Maférinyah, Conakry, the Institute of Tropical Medicine will explore policies and possibilities to strengthen the ...

A funeral ceremony in Guinea’s forest region

Remco Van de  Pas is currently for a research assignment in Guinea, one of three countries in West Africa affected by Ebola. Together with the national research center for training and promotion of rural health (CNFRSR) of Maférinyah, Conakry, the Institute of Tropical Medicine will explore policies and possibilities to strengthen the public h...

Guinea and the ugly side of globalization

Remco Van de  Pas is currently for a research assignment in Guinea, one of three countries in West Africa affected by Ebola. Together with the national research center for training and promotion of rural health (CNFRSR) of Maférinyah, Conakry, the Institute of Tropical Medicine will explore policies and possibilities to strengthen the public h...

Call for blogs on Multistakeholder Governance for Health

Over the last years there has been much research on and proposals for governance in health systems whether at the district, national or global level. Since mid-nineties or so there have been reforms in countries to initiate public- private cooperation, e.g. via the contracting of health service delivery. At global level, there has been debate ab...

The implications of the Indonesian presidential elections for its national health insurance

The citizens of the Republic of Indonesia, a vast country with over 250 million inhabitants, have an important presidential election ahead of them on the 9th of July 2014. After 10 years of government under the current president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, next week’s election provides the voters with two distinct political options for the natio...

The record breaking 67th World Health Assembly: reflections from one of the survivors

The 67th World Health Assembly (WHA) closed last week, after long-working days, and adopting many resolutions on public health issues of global importance. In fact, this WHA broke many records, with the most resolutions and decisions (41) ever, as well as the most words translated for a five-day Assembly (1,300,000), and the most meetings (29...