There’s something odd about this new Goldman report, ‘Health Buys Wealth.’
It talks about how rising standards of health can generate economic growth, and how some of the poorest places in the world are stuck in a poverty cycle whereby disease and early death prevents the economic growth necessary for improved living standards.
It’s not that this report isn’t interesting, it’s actually very much so.
It’s just that it doesn’t seem like investment research. While suggesting that private capital can help solve much of the world’s basic health problems, it never goes into much detail on how one would go about doing this to make money.
While a great piece of research, to us it reads like something from a charity organisation. Thus something about this smells of PR. What is this piece of research actually used for? Pitching for health care deals? Enlighten us, or tell us if you think we’re wrong.
The need to look “beyond disease”
Yet millions remain vulnerable to diseases that are both preventable and treatable. Access to cost-effective healthcare today remains limited, in large part because health systems in low-income countries are woefully understaffed and under-funded. Looking beyond a disease-specific approach, governments and donors also need to strengthen health systems, expand infrastructure and extend education, particularly women’s education.
New opportunities: private funding and capital markets
Among the key developments in public health over the past decade are the dramatic expansion of funding and the diversification of funding sources. Public/private partnerships, advance market commitments and fundraising in capital markets are now critical to improving health in low-income countries. We see ample scope for this to expand.