Global Health Policy

The globalisation process has far-reaching influence on health policy issues

Global health issues are closely related to several other policy areas such as development, security, trade and travel, the economy, human rights, nutrition, agriculture, research, employment, education, migration, the environment and climate protection, as well as humanitarian aid.

Against this background, cross-sectoral solutions are needed in the context of global health policy. Only joint global action will be able to guarantee and improve 'health' worldwide. With this in mind, the Federal Government adopted the Strategy Paper "Shaping Global Health – Taking Joint Action – Embracing Responsibility", in 2013, as a means of making an active and coherent contribution to global health policy. However, geopolitical changes and the accelerated globalisation led to new challenges such as in the fields of health crisis management (after the lessons-learned from the Ebola outbreak) or antimicrobial resistance, spreading rapidly on a global scale. This is the reason why the Federal Government will update the strategy on global health during the next legislative period. In order to support this project an International Advisory Board on Global Health has been nominated.

Germany supports efforts of the WHO

The most important institution in the area of global health policy is the World Health Organisation (WHO). The organisation's goal is to achieve the best possible level of health for all people. Combating disease and promoting the overall health of all people, worldwide, is WHO's primary mandate. Germany strongly advocates the strengthening of WHO as the leading and co-ordinating body in global health policy. This is why Germany wholeheartedly supports a comprehensive WHO reform. Our objective is to adapt WHO to the new global challenges of the 21st century and to strengthen it, so as to make it a productive, transparent, efficient international organisation that is able to take responsible action, jointly with the other global players.

Germany assumed the G7 Presidency in 2014. In June, the Heads of State and Government of the Group of Seven met at Schloss Elmau Hotel. Health became an important priority for Germany's G7 Presidency. Healthy populations are a powerful engine for socio-economic stability and growth. On 8 and 9 October 2015, the Health Ministers of the seven leading industrialised nations – the USA, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Germany – met in Berlin at the invitation of Germany's Federal Minister of Health Hermann Gröhe. They adopted a Declaration addressing Antimicrobial Resistance and agreed to co-operate more closely on controlling global health emergencies. Also during Germanys’ G20 presidency, health was placed high on the agenda. With the first ever meeting of the G20 health ministers in May 2017 in Berlin, the subjects of health crisis management including health systems strengthening and antimicrobial resistances were brought into the centre of attention.

With its efforts and commitment on national, regional and global level, Global Health has become a hallmark of Germanys’ international responsibility.

Improving health security internationally and strengthening the World Health Organization (WHO) are key objectives of the Federal Government’s Global Health Strategy, which the Cabinet on 7th Octobre 2020. Under the banner of “Responsibility – Innovation – Partnership: Shaping Global Health Together”, it lays out a number of guiding principles for the period from now until 2030. It is to be reviewed midway

With this strategy, the Federal Government adapts its goals and priorities to new challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, and develops these further looking to the future.

The Federal Government’s priorities include:

  • Promoting health and prevention

  • Working to mitigate the impact of climate change on health

  • Strengthening healthcare systems and enabling non-discriminatory access to universal health coverage for all

  • Supporting health protection long-term and comprehensively, including protection against pandemics and epidemics, and maintaining its commitment to humanitarian health aid

  • Driving global health research and innovation