10 JAN 2017

Dr Dan highlights the importance of global health in training medical professionals

With the return of the Parliament this week, things got off to a busy start for Dr Dan and following a meeting of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Dr Dan was delighted to attend an evening event in the House of Lords as part of his work Chairing the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global Health. The APPG is a special interest group for Parliamentarians with a special interest in improving health across the world.

The event brought together around 30 key players from the health education and global health fields to discuss the importance of global health principles in the education of our own medical professionals and healthcare sector. A great deal of work has recently been carried out by the Global Health Curriculum Group talking to doctors about their experiences treating patients in the UK and how key global health skills can equip our new generation of doctors.

Global health is something which has an impact on each and every one of us, but when we talk about global health it's an obvious question to ask what exactly that means for us here in the UK. Larger urban towns and cities perhaps understand the issue of global health, primarily as they often comprise more diverse cultural communities, but in rural counties it can be slightly less clear why we should be concerned with global health.

But why does this matter to us in Ipswich and Suffolk? We are lucky to have our NHS and access to free and comprehensive healthcare when a need arises. But with ever increasing challenges in our NHS, we benefit from a global and multicultural staff, who bring with them a wealth of expertise and skills which are essential in looking after our patients.

Global public health is the science of understanding our health in a broader context, for example, in urban towns where medical professionals are perhaps working with a number of patients who need to be more physically active in order to improve their health, it may be helpful for healthcare professionals to work more collaboratively with local authority transport strategies to consider sustainable travel such as walking and cycling. In essence, it's about thinking outside the "four walls" of our hospitals and GPs surgeries and considering the patient's needs and environment as part of improving their overall health and wellbeing.

Having our own doctors and healthcare professionals trained more proficiently in global health practices delivers better outcomes for us all and Dr Dan looks forward to seeing things evolve as part of his work as Chair of the APPG on Global Health.

Back in October, Dr Dan addressed a reception in London where the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) launched their latest report. Work to share best practice, skills and expertise is ongoing with a team from Ipswich Hospital and Central Hospital, Beira in Mozambique as one of 157 partnerships funded by the UK's Department of International Development and managed by THET. Partnerships such as these connect skilled healthcare professionals in hospitals here in the UK with their overseas counterparts, leading to improved health services for those overseas and here in the UK.

Ultimately strengthening links and improving standards in global health will bring greater benefits to us all and will impact positively for decades to come.

 

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Dr Dan's work in Parliament

Written Answers — Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Bovine Tuberculosis: Disease Control (12 Sep 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding will be put in place to stop the spread of TB in cattle after the UK leaves the EU.

Written Answers — Department of Health: Mental Health Services: Occupational Therapy (12 Sep 2017)
Daniel Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many full-time equivalent occupational therapists working in mental health the NHS has employed in each year since 2006-07.