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Health Reform in an Era of Pandemics: Toward Comprehensive Health Security

Julio Frenk, Dean, Harvard University School of Public Health; Former Minister of Health, Mexico; Former Executive Director for Policy, World Health Organization

When pandemic H1N1 "swine flu" broke out this spring, Frenk was in the thick of discussions by the Mexican government, the World Health Organization and governments and organizations worldwide in his roles as the current dean at Harvard School of Public Health and the former minister of health in Mexico. In Mexico, he also oversaw the design and implementation of a successful reform to achieve universal health insurance by covering more than 50 million uninsured persons. The reform also established a new public health agency and strengthened epidemiological surveillance with the aim of protecting the population against health threats. These experiences enable Frenk to provide a unique perspective on the lessons he believes the United States can learn from other countries about health reform, universal health care and the ever-present threat pandemics pose to health and economies.

Added by Commonwealth Club of California on September 8, 2009