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Health a wise investment

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The great social and economic benefits that derive from investing in health will be the focus of international discussion when health experts from around the world converge on Melbourne for the H20 Health Summit later this week.

The Summit, organised by World Medical Association, the federal AMA and AMA Victoria, is aimed at ensuring health is one of the top issues discussed by global leaders when they meet.

WMA Chair Dr Mukesh Haikerwal, who has been the driving force behind the H20 meeting, said that health was often neglected at top international meetings like the G20 despite the pivotal role it played in national prosperity and well-being.

Australia is hosting a meeting of G20 leaders in Brisbane this weekend, and Dr Haikerwal said that although it was too late to get health onto the agenda for this summit, the goal was to convince governments that health deserved to be at the centre of discussions when the G20 meets next in early 2015.

The H20 meeting, being held on 13 and 14 November, will include sessions on health as a wise investment, international health promotion efforts, an account of health policy in China, the global upsurge in non-communicable diseases and mental health issues, and the influence of social, economic and environmental factors on health, including climate change.

Speakers will include AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler, WMA President Dr Xavier Deau, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare CEO David Kalisch, Professor Angang Hu, Dean of the Institute for Contemporary China Studies at Tsinghua University, China, Victorian Health Department Secretary Dr Pradeep Philip, World Psychiatric Association President Professor Dinesh Bhugra and Dr Alessandro Demaio of Harvard Medical School.

For more details on the H20 Health Summit, visit: http://amavic.com.au/page/Doctors_in_Training/Calendar/H20_International_Health_Summit/

The full program can be viewed at: http://amavic.com.au/icms_docs/204544_H20_International_Health_Summit_Program.pdf

Adrian Rollins