The OECD explores challenging global issues – Interview with Yuki Murakami

The exploration of challenging global issues requires the sharing of ideas and perspectives across cultures and across constituencies. As a precursor to the forum, the Council conducts interviews with opinion leaders who can share their thoughts about the topic of the forum.

Yuki Murakami, a member of the OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Directorate for Employment, is a confirmed speaker for the 2014 Forum in Tokyo.  Find out what she has to say about the increasingly important global health issues and why she believes establishing a partnership with the Council on Business & Society was important.

What do you think is the importance of such an alliance? Of the International Forum?

“By bringing together six of the leading business schools from around the world, The Global Alliance provides a unique opportunity and a forum for exchanges and discussions from diverse backgrounds, opinions and ideas to maximize the potential for a better future and improve the quality of our lives. This International Forum builds on this and extends the opportunities in involving a number of distinguished people from the field of health and business to get together and discuss the experiences and lessons that can lead to great new ideas and innovative approaches to current burning issues.”

Why did you feel it important to participate/sponsor/be a partner of the Council?

“The OECD is an international organisation comprising 34 member countries where governments work together to share experiences, identify good practices and find solutions to common problems. As such, we see the great benefit of interactions with various stakeholders – academia, business and other international organisations – to bring fresh ideas to current policy issues affecting economics around the world.”

What do you think is the most current important issue about healthcare? Why?

“The worst global financial and economic crisis in decades has left OECD countries seeking ways to increase their efficiency while maintaining quality health services for their populations. Growth in health spending has slowed or fallen in almost all OECD countries in 2010 – for the first time in decades in many cases. This is a sharp reversal from the strong growth in the years prior to the crisis. The health sector of the OECD countries is moving towards improving productivity and seeking value for money in the context of tightening budgets.”

Are there any measures you are taking notice of in other countries that might help such healthcare issues?

“The OECD’s strength is comparing and evaluating country experiences and in such a way promoting evidence based policy. Encouraging countries to learn from peers is an important aspect of our work. We collect best practices in areas such as strengthening primary care and prevention of illness, improving the efficiency of hospital services, paying doctors and hospitals in ways that assure high-quality care, adapting health care to address the complex needs of frail elderly, assuring optimal care for chronic diseases.”

Which topic, in your opinion, should be the highlight of the forum?

” That being said, among all the important topics at the Forum, efficient while high quality healthcare systems are among the topics that all of OECD countries will find relevant and of high priority in managing their health systems in the country.

For example, people are living longer but some live with chronic diseases. The increasing prevalence of people with multiple chronic diseases pushes countries to make continuity of care based on quality and patient experience a key objective. The OECD examines supply side policies to identify solutions such as the use of multidisciplinary teams, bundled payments or service integration. In addition, health systems can achieve better performance through rewarding providers for quality and efficiency across primary care, hospitals and long-term care and by looking at innovative approaches that enhance value for money in the organisation and financing of chronic disease management.”

More than just an annual forum, the Council on Business & Society Global Alliance is an ongoing international dialogue – The Council Community helps bring together business leaders, academics and journalists from around the world. #CouncilonBusinessandSociety

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