The quest for better healthcare is universal and so are the diseases that affect it. However, healthcare today is still seen as a domestic issue and is over-centralised around the hospital or healthcare facility even though patient needs have changed globally and now go beyond country-specific borders.
By globalising the response to health threats, disasters like what happened during the Covid pandemic can be avoided. At the same time, evolving patient needs can be addressed to allow patients to better cope with growing chronic diseases that require long term and sometimes lifelong treatment.
In his new book “A World Undivided: A Quest for Better Health Beyond Geopolitics,” Dr. Joseph Saba, the author and CEO and Co-Founder of Axios International, a pioneering global healthcare access company, stresses that a healthcare system that supports patients through their entire treatment journey must be created to achieve better healthcare. He said this includes early diagnosis, affordable treatment solutions, and ongoing support for adherence to treatment both inside and outside the hospital setting.
Comparing the global, unified response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 80s that helped expedite policies and solutions for patients, with the chaotic handling of the COVID-19 pandemic which was little effective and resulted in significant economic and social consequences, Dr. Saba said that global threats need a global response.
“Before the HIV/AIDS pandemic, equitable access to medicines was a little talked about idea,” said Dr. Saba.
Through personal accounts gathered during his forty years of experience in global health, the book that ranked #1 on Amazon tells the little-known story of the inception and evolution of access to medicines and the birth of Axios. Using examples from projects done by Axios, the book proposes an unconventional solution for improving healthcare delivery by better connecting patients to healthcare services and expanding the healthcare system’s reach beyond any one healthcare facility.
Dr. Saba, who has been ranked among the Middle East's Top 100 Healthcare Leaders for 2023 by Forbes Middle East said, “We didn’t apply what we learned from HIV experience during the COVID-19 pandemic because healthcare today is still viewed as a community or domestic affair happening only in the hospital or healthcare facility.”
He added that there are no connections between healthcare facilities or between facilities and patients, despite the presence of digital tools. “This is because the world is interconnected, while healthcare delivery is not. It is overly local and antiquated. An overly localised approach to healthcare means a healthcare system dependent solely on local laws and politics while the spread of diseases and their treatments are universal. This makes healthcare particularly susceptible to geopolitics.”
Dr. Saba said that hospitals are modern and well-equipped but the connection between the patient, the hospital and the rest of the healthcare constituency is lacking.
“Care and treatment are delivered in a fragmented way resulting in poor or at best suboptimal medical outcomes. There is little continuity between patients, doctors, hospitals and pharmacies and few mechanisms to support a patient’s care and treatment journey once they leave the doctor’s office,” he said.
A World Undivided explains how by connecting patients to a globalised, digitised healthcare system beyond any one healthcare facility, the quality of care, reach, and better managing the next global health threat can be achieved. It also highlights how the value of more connected care is significant and will touch every aspect of our lives.
“Like climate change, healthcare is everybody’s issue and not only healthcare professionals. Making this shift will require everybody’s collaboration, which is why the book was written for all audiences – not just healthcare professionals,” explained Dr. Saba.
All proceeds from the book will be donated to support treatment for patients in need in low-middle-income countries. A World Undivided is available for purchase at: https://geni.us/aworldundivided