It is important to note that global health policy changes can vary depending on regional or national contexts. However, considering the worldwide impact, the following is a list of ten significant global health policy changes in 2021:
1. COVID-19 Vaccination Programs: The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally has been a major focus, with various countries implementing vaccination campaigns and policies to combat the pandemic.
2. Vaccine Equity: Efforts to address global vaccine inequality and ensure equitable access to vaccines have gained prominence, including initiatives like COVAX which aim to distribute vaccines to low-income countries.
3. Vaccine Passports: The development and implementation of vaccine passports or certification systems have been discussed and adopted in several countries to allow for greater freedom of movement and access to certain activities for vaccinated individuals.
4. Pandemic Preparedness: The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for improved global pandemic preparedness. Efforts have been made to strengthen international cooperation, surveillance systems, and resource allocation to better respond to future health crises.
5. Health System Strengthening: Governments and organizations have focused on strengthening health systems worldwide, improving healthcare infrastructure, workforce capacity, and resilience to support pandemic response and ensure better health outcomes beyond COVID-19.
6. Mental Health Support: Mental health considerations and support have become increasingly important during the pandemic. Many countries have implemented mental health policies and initiatives, aiming to provide resources, improve access to mental healthcare, and reduce stigmatization.
7. Climate Change and Health: The connection between climate change and health has gained recognition. Policy measures addressing climate change impacts on health, such as air pollution reduction and climate resilient healthcare systems, have been considered globally.
8. Universal Health Coverage: The importance of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) has been emphasized, with efforts to expand health coverage and ensure financial protection against healthcare costs becoming a priority for many countries.
9. Telehealth Expansion: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in telehealth or telemedicine services adoption. Governments and health systems have expanded policies and regulations to promote and regulate telehealth use, allowing for improved access to healthcare services remotely.
10. Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR): Efforts to combat AMR, which poses a significant global health threat, have continued in 2021. Policymakers have worked on strategies to reduce inappropriate antimicrobial use, enhance surveillance systems, and support research for new antibiotics.
Please remember that this list represents a broad overview and may not include all significant global health policy changes in every region or country across the world.