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What is the resilient health system?

It can be difficult to put the things we know into action and actually do them. This video discusses this challenge in the context of health systems.

There is a big difference between knowing what a resilient system is (able to be flexible and adapt to external shocks) and actually making changes that build resilience. We call this the ‘Know- Do’ gap and we see it played out throughout all health system change.

Margaret Kruk et al (2015) define health system resilience as

“the capacity of health actors, institutions, and populations to prepare for and effectively respond to crises; maintain core functions when a crisis hits; and, informed by lessons learnt during the crisis, reorganise if conditions require it” (pg. 1).

And the challenge is that often you don’t know how resilient a health system is until the shock occurs, by which time it is too late to try and build resiliency!


Reflect on your own context – is there an explicit intent to build reserve capacity, map potential threats and develop flexible solutions?

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Health Systems Strengthening

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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