Health is more than medicine, and the World Health Summit program is intentionally broad, bringing together expertise in science, politics, business, and healthcare. Topics in the 2019 program include:

Climate Change and Health

Climate change poses an unquestionable threat to human health, affecting everyone on the planet and children in particular. There is an urgent need to translate existing evidence into policy actions and to produce new research to fill gaps in the knowledge base. This requires a One Health approach, considering climate change in all areas of policy development, and ensuring that health systems are prepared to face the challenges rising temperatures bring.

Transforming Human Capital: Investing in Health and Education

The World Bank’s Human Capital Project is a global effort to invest in people for greater equity and economic growth. Health and education are centrally important objectives that should be core values of economic development. Education plays a key role in a developing country’s ability to absorb modern technology and maintain self-sustaining growth. Greater health capital may improve returns on investments in education, while greater education capital may do the same for investments in health.

Universal Health Coverage: Expanding Rights and Access

SDG 3.8 envisions that by 2030, all people will be able use health services of sufficient quality without facing financial hardship. Despite strong international support for universal health coverage (UHC), country-level financing and implementation remains challenging. Multi-sectoral approaches are key to generating political will for investment in UHC and driving appropriate reforms. Stronger accountability and advocacy are key to accelerating progress towards universal health coverage.

The Future of Health Policy in the G7/G20

Healthcare has developed into a key policy issue at both national and international levels. In 2019, the G20 in Osaka will include a meeting of health ministers to discuss topics like health security and antimicrobial resistance. A joint meeting of finance and health ministers is also planned. The health governance issues inherent in the SDGs have highlighted the fact that increasing financial and political commitments are central to solving global health challenges.

SDG3: The Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All

The success of the SDGs will be measured by their impact on the prosperity and well-being of people and the planet, particularly the extent to which they "leave no one behind.” Initiatives such as the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All endeavor to build a foundation of greater cohesion among global health actors to support countries in their achievement of the SDGs. The action plan was launched at the World Health Summit 2018. The World Health Summit 2019 will include a report on its progress and the implementation challenges at hand.

Focus Africa: Building Capacities and Strong Institutions

United Nations Member States have a shared commitment and a common interest in achieving the SDGs by 2030. This will require significant investment, innovation, and partnerships in Africa. Integrated approaches to health, development and security, consensus building, information sharing, and knowledge exchange will all be key. The African Union has made health one of its priorities, and there is increasing political commitment to investing in health in a number of African countries

Digital Health: Shaping Society and the Modern Economy

A growing, ageing global population will have a profound impact across the world. Health spending is predicted to rise to $9.3 trillion by 2018. New technological developments are responding and increasingly blurring the boundaries between the physical, biological, and digital worlds. Technology aims to personalize medicine and tailor treatments to individual patients based on their genetic makeup. The digital revolution has the potential improve health and empower patients, but it could also increase health inequities and lead to new ethical challenges.

A full overview of 2019 topics is available in our interactive online program