This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Eduardo Díaz, a first-year Health Science and second-year Medical student. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.
We have been looking at the young as inexperienced people for far too long. Young professionals and students are the most affected people in today’s society, as they are the ones who are experiencing the inaction and deficient problem-solving skills of previous generations. They are, in fact, the ones who should be in the lead to solve these problems, as they improve their knowledge every day with top-tier education and opportunities.
But, instead of talking about a broad set of problems, let’s focus on Health Governance and what the youth can do about it.
For starters, let’s define what is Health Governance exactly. The Commonwealth Health Hub website (1) defines Health Governance as “the actions of governments and other actors to steer communities, whole countries or even groups of countries in the pursuit of health as integral to well-being through both whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches.” The definition gives us a sense of what Health Governance is and what we, the people, can do to support its improvement.
Young people have been activists for a very long time now. Not on only on governmental campaigns but also NGOs. The youth have the numbers and the strength to fight for a better world. As a government, they should create spaces for public participation of youth groups that promote better policies. They are the ones suffering the consequences and the people who will need to keep improving in the future to sustain positive changes. We should give them not only space but also the power to promote these positive changes.
Here are three ideas for youth participation in health governance:
- Young people tend to have more energy for lengthier periods of work. All of which is sometimes necessary to perform correct analysis of research. We should give them the tools and knowledge to conduct this research because the information is as crucial to improving Health Governance as the workforce itself.
- Give them space and give them the power. The youth should be the reporters, the eyes and ears of governmental (and perhaps non-governmental) organizations. Let us use our numbers to promote improved health policies. Let us hear what the people have to say and what they need. Only then, the planning for improvement can start.
- Stop giving us instructions and start providing the knowledge. How are we supposed to learn how to do things the right way if we only know your way? Some pillars of Health Governance have been, since the beginning, barely covered. We should learn about previous efforts of improvement. But, most importantly, learn about new pathways to solve its issues.
Remember that only continuous improvement can become sustainable improvement and that the youth should not be taken as inexperienced, but people with a great potential for learning and discovery.
- Health Governance definition. The Health Hub. (2016, September 7). Retrieved September 25, 2021, from https://www.thecommonwealth-healthhub.net/governance/.
About the author
Eduardo Díaz is a first-year Health Science and second-year Medical student. He is a member of IFMSA Panamá who enjoys researching about different medical-related topics and who’s resolve is to help improve his country’s medical education and in the future, it’s public health system. A quote that he identifies with is: “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow, will be our doubts of today.”-Franklin D. Roosevelt