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Press Release: B20 Chair Juergen Heraeus: The G20 needs to work harder to ensure resilient, sustainable, and future-oriented health systems

Picture of Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, Chairman Supervisory Board
Dr. Jürgen Heraeus © Christoph Michaelis

“Resilient, sustainable, and future-oriented health systems are indispensable – not only for the well-being of each individual, but also for the well-being of our societies, for economic growth, for prosperity, and for development,” said Juergen Heraeus, Chair of the Business 20 (B20), the official Dialogue Partner of the G20 with the Business Community at the B20 Health Conference in Berlin.

  • Business 20 Health Initiative presents its recommendations to the G20 at the B20 Health Conference in Berlin
  • B20 Health Initiative calls on the G20 members to step up their efforts in creating resilient, sustainable, and future-oriented health systems
  • B20 Health Initiative stresses the need for more concerted international efforts in the fight against neglected tropical diseases and antimicrobial resistance

“Resilient, sustainable, and future-oriented health systems are indispensable – not only for the well-being of each individual, but also for the well-being of our societies, for economic growth, for prosperity, and for development,” said Juergen Heraeus, Chair of the Business 20 (B20), the official Dialogue Partner of the G20 with the Business Community at the B20 Health Conference in Berlin.

Over the past five months, the B20 Health Initiative has developed recommendations for the G20 to improve global health. “Today, we are living longer, healthier, and more productive lives thanks to innovative medical products. Without investing more in health, however, we will not be able not reach the Sustainable Development Goals,” Heraeus emphasized one day before the G20 Health Ministers meet in Berlin. Roughly 400 million people in low- and middle-income countries currently lack access to effective and affordable healthcare. A healthy population is essential to delivering sustainable and inclusive economic growth and security.

The world is facing numerous health challenges – an increase of chronic diseases (heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and others), the high prevalence of communicable diseases, including emerging and re-emerging diseases as well as drug-resistant diseases and infections. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the recent outbreak of the Zika virus in the Americas also made it clear that the world is still woefully underprepared for pandemics. “If we want to tackle these challenges, the G20 members have to work more strongly together,” Heraeus called on the G20. This requires cooperation across countries, across the various international organizations, industry, and civil society. Industry plays a central role by researching, developing, and refining new health solutions. “Governments need to create an environment which fosters research and development. Only healthcare systems, which incentivize the uptake of innovative medical products and allow greater access, will deliver on social development and will be sustainable, resilient, and future-oriented,” Heraeus emphasized.

The B20 Initiative was chaired by Kemal Malik, Member of the Board of Management at Bayer AG and Stefan Oschmann, Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO of Merck.

Kemal Malik outlined: “The growing and aging world population and changes in lifestyle are putting health systems under financial strain. Innovation is crucial to provide solutions and improve people’s quality of life.”

Stefan Oschmann explained: “We believe in dialogue between industry and policy makers. Together we can promote global health and prosperity and reap the great benefits offered by science and technology.”

The policy paper of the B20 Health Initiative can be found here, and the summary of the B20 Health recommendations can be found here.

You can download a PDF version of this press release here.

About B20

The Business 20 (B20) is the official G20 dialogue with the global business community. The mission of the B20 is to support the G20 through consolidated representation of interests, expertise, and concrete policy proposals. Furthermore, the B20 promotes dialogue among policy-makers, civil society, and business at the international level. B20 Germany has more than 706 members from all sectors and all G20 countries. The decision-making process is consensus-based. The proposals of the B20 cover the entire scope of G20 topics.

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