All countries today face challenges in health and social care provision, stemming from an increased prevalence in chronic diseases, complex health-social dynamics, and the continued threat of pandemics. Ageing populations and tighter public funding for health and social care further exacerbate these difficulties. There is therefore an urgent need to move towards person-centred integrated care, which focuses on improving the quality of care, patient / client experience, and cost-effectiveness. It is also becoming clear that health and social care are inextricably inter-related, each affecting the other. Hence, a conversation on health care provision would not be complete without considering social contexts and factors, and vice-versa. Recognising this, many public health and social systems are moving towards greater consolidation and integration.
To do this, we need to transform our health and social care ecosystems, but we also recognise how difficult and challenging this is. Care integration is resource-intensive and requires collaboration and support from many stakeholders. Efforts to improve health and social care outcomes take time to show tangible results. This is why it is crucial for health and social care professionals and providers to study and implement different models of success as they progress on their transformation journeys. While each experience is contextual, the lessons from these real-world projects and programmes are valuable to a wider audience.
The Global Conference on Integrated Care (GCIC) will be held in Singapore from 1st to 3rd February 2018. This Conference will bring together experts, practitioners, professionals and policy makers who are involved in health and social care, all under one roof, where an array of topics related to integrated care can be presented and discussed. It also provides a platform for sharing of best practices and experiences which you can then bring back to your organisation.
The Conference Theme – “Advance! Accelerating the Integration of Care” – emphasises the urgency of our efforts to transform health and social care. Three broad areas will be discussed. Care Integration in Practice will showcase innovative models of successful care integration in various parts of the world, focusing on the crucial elements that led to success. Enabling Integrated Care will highlight the importance of enablers that can spur care integration, including the judicious use of regulation, the role of financing reform, the increasing importance of technology, and the role of community and private sector partners. Finally, Transcending Boundaries in Integrated Care highlights the importance of cross-disciplinary collaborations in delivering truly effective integrated care services.
We have gathered together an impressive array of experts and practitioners from all over the world, who will come together in this unique Conference. Our aspiration is that through this effort, the integrated care community will grow and harness the collective wisdom of its professionals and practitioners, and develop successful and sustainable care integration policies and programmes that will serve their populations well in the future.
I look forward to seeing you at GCIC 2018.
Dr Jason Cheah
Chief Executive Officer
Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), Singapore