Rob Yates_Will the permacrisis of the 2020s catalyse a new generation of universal health reforms


Will the permacrisis of the 2020s catalyse a new generation of universal health reforms?

Hosted by Global Health Initiative

Mar 1.10 The Marshall Building 44 Lincoln’s Inn Fields London WC2A 3LY, United Kingdom


Robert Yates

Robert Yates

Executive Director of the Centre For Universal Health at Chatham House


Dr Justin Parkhurst

Dr Justin Parkhurst

Associate Professor of Global Health Policy, LSE Department of Health Policy.

History shows that many of the world’s universal health systems emerged from public health emergencies, financial crises or major conflicts. This includes New Zealand after the Great Depression, the UK after World War II, Thailand after the Asian Financial Crisis, and the re-socializing of China’s health financing system after the SARS epidemic. Could today’s global leaders capitalize on the permacrisis* to catalyse a new wave of universal health reforms? 

Join Robert Yates, Director of the Global Health Programme at Chatham House, to discuss research on successful post-crisis transitions to universal health. This event will also explore the works of the Chatam House's Commission for Universal Health in identifying opportunities for universal health reforms, building awareness of the findings among governments and multilateral organisations and developing clear policy options to address coverage shortfalls, strengthen health systems and accelerate progress towards universal health. 

*permacrisis (ˈpɜːməˌkraɪsɪs ) 
NOUN , Word forms: plural -ses (-siːz ) 

an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events (Source: Collins English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers) 


Robert Yates is a political health economist specializing in universal health coverage (UHC) and progressive health financing. He is the Executive Director of the Centre For Universal Health at Chatham House. He is also an Honorary Associate Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a long-term consultant to The Elders on its health programme.  

His principal area of expertise is in the political economy of UHC, with a focus on advising political leaders and governments on how to plan, finance and implement national UHC reforms. 

He has previously worked as a Senior Health Economist with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Health Organisation, advising numerous governments in Asia, Africa and Europe on health financing policy and health systems reforms.  

He holds a BA degree in Natural Sciences and Economics from the University of Cambridge and a MBA, from the University of Leeds. 



Justin Parkhurst (@justinparkhurst) is an Associate Professor of Global Health Policy in the LSE Department of Health Policy. He is co-director of the MSc in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing programme, and the current serving Chair of the LSE Global Health Initiative.

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