FOR the first time since the novel coronaviruspandemic, the Heart Institute of the Caribbean (HIC) will be hosting its 'Masters of Medicine' annual summit today, September 15 at Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
This marks the third staging of the prestigious conference. Under the theme 'Medicine and Society — creating a more resilient health system in the Caribbean post-COVID', several high-level round-table discussions will be held concurrently with local and international experts, including leading physicians, social scientists, policy-makers, economists, business leaders, religious and civic society leaders to explore intersecting issues impacting health-care delivery in the region.
Among topics on the agenda are the leading causes of death in the Caribbean and critical drivers; social determinants impacting health care in the Caribbean; policies and regulations impacting health outcomes in the Caribbean; the relationship between the health-care workforce and health outcomes; and last but certainly not least, and perhaps one of the most important, health-care finance, quality and standardisation of care and health equity.
According to Dr Dainia Baugh, president and CEO of the Heart Institute of the Caribbean, the Masters of Medicine conference continues to fulfil a critically important role in the continuing education of physicians, technicians, nurses, and other health-care providers, and has done so successfully since its inaugural staging in 2019 by attracting leading authorities in health care from around the world to Jamaica as well as creating an opportunity for local health-care stakeholders to interact directly with these global opinion leaders in health care.
The previous Masters of Medicine conference in 2020 was also held under the theme 'Medicine and Society' but focused on the advances in cardiovascular care and how these translate in low-resource nations. It was a successful conference as it addressed the question, "Can under-resourced populations receive relevant and sensitive care while maintaining the highest international standards of evidence-based medicine?"
For the 2022 staging the focus will be on the Caribbean as a region to identify the interplay between medicine and society, and how the lessons learned from the pandemic can move us forward in the post-pandemic era so as to create a more resilient health-care system capable of withstanding future unexpected shocks.
The conference targets private and public health-care professionals, private sector business leaders, policy-makers, and social scientists in recognition of the fine line between the responsibility of the private sector to the public sector and vice versa, as well as global bodies with responsibility for public health care.
"What is often forgotten is that good, quality health care cannot be delivered in a vacuum. Many friction points in the health-care value chain directly impact access and quality of care available to citizens. Decisions made by policy-makers, payers, providers, consumers, and other stakeholders can directly impact the ability of providers to attract appropriate talent or resources that will drive the quality of care or ensure health equity," expressed Dr Baugh.
"Discussions and solutions from the conference will go a long way in resolving some of these frictions to ensure inclusive, high-quality care for Caribbean citizens. We are delighted that the Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton will open the conference with his remarks, and we have the participation of the current president of the American Heart Association, Dr Michelle Albert and the assistant director general of the World Health Organization, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, as speakers," added Dr Baugh.