Ebola: Towards an International Health Systems Fund

3rd Floor, Birmingham Law School, Law Building (R1), Lecture Theatre 1
Friday 21 November 2014 (18:00-19:30)

You can book a ticket online at our Eventbrite page.

For further information please contact Dr Sheelagh McGuinness at s.mcguinness@bham.ac.uk

Professor Lawrence O. Gostin

A Public Lecture by Professor Lawrence O. Gostin

According to Professor Gostin, “How could this Ebola tragedy have been averted and what could states and the international community do to prevent the next epidemic? The answer is not untested drugs, mass quarantines, or even humanitarian relief. If the real reasons this outbreak turned into a tragedy of these proportions are human resource shortages and fragile health systems, the solution is to fix these inherent structural deficiencies.”

“A dedicated “Health Systems Fund” at the WHO would rebuild broken trust, with the returns of longer, healthier lives and economic development far exceeding the costs. An international fund would include both emergency response capabilities and enduring health system development.”

 “The West African Ebola epidemic could spark a badly needed global course correction favoring strong health infrastructure,” concludes Professor Gostin.  “Sustainable funding scalable to needs for enduring health systems is a wise and affordable investment. It is in all states’ interests to contain health hazards that may eventually travel to their shores. But beyond self-interest are the imperatives of health and social justice—a humanitarian response that would work, now and for the future.”

This public lecture takes place at the end of the first day of our conference on Global Health Law.


Lawrence O. Gostin is University Professor (Georgetown University’s highest academic rank), Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law, and Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law.  He served as Associate Dean (Research) and is Professor of Medicine. Prof. Gostin holds international professorial appointments at Oxford University, University of Witwatersrand, (South Africa), and Melbourne University. He sits on Board, Consortium of Universities for Global Health.  He is the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights, and serves on expert WHO advisory committees on WHO reform, mental health, International Health Regulations, and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness.

Professor Gostin holds editorial appointments throughout the world, notably Health Law Editor and Columnist, Journal of the American Medical Association. He holds honorary doctoral degrees from the State University of New York, Cardiff University, Sydney University, and the Royal Institute of Public Health. He is a Member of the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences,, Council of Foreign Relations, and Hastings Center. The IOM awarded Prof. Gostin the Yarmolinsky Medal for distinguished service to further its mission of science and health. He received the Public Health Law Association’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

Professor Gostin received the Delbridge Memorial Award from the National Consumer Council (United Kingdom) for the person “who has most influenced Parliament and government to act for the welfare of society.” He received the Key to Tohoko University (Japan) for distinguished contributions to human rights in mental health.  His latest book is Global Health Law(Harvard University Press, 2014)

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