Rifat Atun

Dr. Atun is Professor of Global Health Systems at Harvard University and the Faculty Chair for the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program. In 2008-12 he was a member of the Executive Management Team of the Global Fund as Director of Strategy, Performance and Evaluation. In 2006-2013 he was a Professor of International Health Management at Imperial College London. He is a visiting professor at University of Kyoto, Japan.

Professor Atun's research focuses on health system performance and reform, and innovation. He has published over 300 papers in leading journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, JAMA, and the Academy of Management Journal. Prof Atun has advised more than 30 governments on health policy and health system reform, and has worked with the World Bank, WHO and leading organizations such as Medtronic, Novartis, Roche, and Merck & Co.

Professor Atun worked in the UK as a clinician for 15 years before moving to academia. He worked at the UK Department for International Development Health Systems Resource Centre. He has been involved with new ventures in biotechnology, health technology and health IT as an investor, founder and director.

Professor Atun was a member of the US National Academy of Medicine Committee on Health Systems, and the Advisory Boards of WHO Research Centre for Health Development in Japan and the Norwegian Research Council's Programme for Global Health Research. He Chaired the STOP TB Partnership Coordinating Board in 2009-2011. He is a member of the UK Medical Research Council's Global Health Group, and the Longitude Prize Committee – the largest science prize in the world.

Professor Atun studied medicine at University of London as a Commonwealth Scholar. He completed postgraduate training in family medicine and public health, and obtained a Masters in Business Administration at University of London and Imperial College London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Faculty of Public Health, and the Royal College of General Practitioners.

In European countries, we have seen a rise in real health expenditure that is greater than real growth in national incomes. But, despite this, improvement s in health outcomes have been subdued. More is going in but less is coming out of health systems. To me, the key question is not only Why has this happened? It is also important to ask how we reverse the trend to achieve much better outcomes while achieving improved efficiency in health systems of Europe. We know that there are high levels of inefficiency and waste in European health systems. But there is hope: the best performing EU countries have managed to improve efficiency levels while increasing life expectancy and reducing levels of premature death. I believe innovation is the key to solving this problem. However, we are faced with a paradox between the 'delivery of innovations' and 'innovation in delivery'. The 'delivery of innovations' has been remarkable, thanks to breakthroughs in science and the digital revolution. Medical devices, medicines and health technologies are enabling more precise diagnosis, monitoring and treatment. At the same time, 'innovation in delivery' of healthcare services has been all but stagnant. This is a source of inefficiency; a failure to improve the effectiveness, equity and responsiveness of health care required to achieve better and more consistent outcomes. And so, while the world around us changes, healthcare is a laggard in terms of how it delivers services. Entertainment, communication, banking and government services have responded to technological advances to rethink how they meet the needs of citizens and consumers. We cannot afford this any longer. New funding and investment models are critically needed for transformative innovations in health systems to achieve value, ensure sustainability and protect universal health coverage enjoyed by citizens of Europe. A sustainable model By incorporating value...