How does urbanization in both developing and mature economies pose challenges for health equity?
The final question explored the impact of urbanization and growing populations – with more than 65% of the world’s population estimated to be living in cities by 2050. For Anne-Marie Bagnall Associate Director Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University, the modern age “can lead to greater access to unhealthy food, alcohol etc, reduced opportunities for safe physical activity, inequitable access to good healthcare”. In reply, Jan Kimpen agreed, but pointed out that “it can also do the opposite, promoting healthy living. Valencia created a wonderful park throughout the city where large crowds are exercising, when put in front of the necessity to divert a river!”
Vanessa Carter then joined in the discussion with insight into South Africa, stating “Increased demand for government services with no additional investment to improve them is a major problem”, following up with a possible solution where “Startups are emerging to try to close these gaps in the public health system”.
Putting forward another example of urban centres adapting to healthcare, Jan Kimpen then posted “@DHA_Dubai have an innovate approach to integrated care pathways for more productive, personalized care in urban environments. e.g. the Dubai Heart Safe City program connect lifestyles, emergency and acute and rehabilitation”, together with a link to the article.
It was then that the conversation had to come to an end – one of our most lively yet! As always, Jan Kimpen had final words of inspiration to share with the participants and followers, stating “Improving access to primary care is one of the most profound challenges for the near future. Nobody can do innovation in healthcare alone. So also if we have to make care inclusive we have to work together, mainly with the people directly involved.” A sentiment we can all agree on.