The goals of the Fund's International Program in Health Policy and Practice are threefold:
|build an international network of health care researchers|
devoted to policy.
|encourage comparative research and collaboration among|
|spark creative thinking about health policy.|
The program's key activities include high-level international policy forums, the Harkness Fellowships in Health Care Policy and Practice, and an annual international survey on health policy issues.
For the past nine years, the Fund has hosted an annual international symposium focusing on a health policy topic of major concern to the United States and other industrialized nations. This year's symposium, held in November in Washington, D.C., brought together 65 policy experts around the theme, "What Makes a High Performance Health Care System and How Do We Get There?" Participants included health ministers or their designates from Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States as well as senior government officials and leading researchers from each country.
In his introductory remarks, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II first underscored the value of international exchange and collaboration and then outlined the Administration's vision of a "value-driven health care system" guided by the principles of "transparency and consumer empowerment." The keynote address was given by U.K. Secretary of State for Health Patricia Hewitt, who spoke about her country's ambitious agenda for transforming its National Health Service into a quality-driven system, with greater consumer choice, competition, and transparency.