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Journal of the Academy of Hospital Administration

Vol. 16, No. 2 (2004-07 - 2004-12)


Globalization is a trend which will be at the center of humankind's common reality in the 21st century. The process has been driven by the possibilities unleashed by technology. When WHO was founded in 1948, the global life expectancy was 46 years. Today it has risen to 65 years. In the 21st century the practice of Medicine will be revolutionized by the dramatic advances in biotechnology and information age. Notwithstanding this, a sizable proportion of our people will likely continue to live under a health deficit. Health disparities for the underprivileged with shorter life expectancy and higher death rates from certain diseases including AIDS, heart diseases, injuries and diabetes will pose daunting challenges.

The other major challenge would be the growth in the population. Replacement fertility level is still a distant goal to be achieved. This means that we will need to provide essential health services to an added population of half of the present size in the next 50 years. The pattern of human settlement and distribution with major consequences for health will be a superimposed dimension

The opportunities offered by globalization and the benefits of health knowledge has to be made available to the poor and marginalized sections of our society because they continue to bear a disproportionately large share of the global burden of disease. This is our fundamental challenge and strategies to meet this challenge headlong will require concerted efforts from all health care managers.

A. Chakravarti

Academy of Hospital Administration

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