We must honour his vision for universal healthcare and inclusive access to innovative financing for health by developing further partnerships that can enact real change. Every one of us within the global health community can set forth a ripple of hope through our actions, but together, we can become the current that Joep was, and change the very nature of global health.
Picture the scene - you are completing an application form for life insurance and a page comes up giving you the option to upload data from your always-on fitness monitor, outlining your exercise, work and sleep patterns for the past 6 months, with the incentive that reduced premiums may be available for those who do.
It is indisputable that chronic diseases are increasing, with conditions such as heart attacks and strokes, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease accounting for over 63% of deaths in the world today. These can be avoided or better managed through healthier lifestyle choices, presenting a clear need for focus on prevention as well as treatment.
Last year, using Freedom of Information requests, I carried out an investigation, which asked every NHS Foundation Trust for the amount of debt owed by foreign nationals - both written off and unpaid. By October 2011, I had gathered responses from over 118 trusts, showing that that more than £40 million had been written off or was still outstanding.