Health Workers, Security Forces Should Partner, Engage With Each Other To Improve Public Health
STAT: Health workers and security forces must collaborate, not collide
Nicholas Thomson, co-director of the Security and Health Executive Leadership Institute at the University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and research fellow at the Center for Public Health and Human Rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Louis Lillywhite, former surgeon general of the United Kingdom armed forces and senior consulting fellow for the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House; and Auke van Dijk, senior strategist with the police of the Netherlands
“Health care workers, police officers, and members of the military share the goal of keeping people safe. … As we and 17 others write in The Lancet Special Series on Security and Health, it is time to explore how all countries can prosper from partnerships that bridge health and security silos based on this shared vision: engagement of security forces, including police and the military, in public health is synergistic and beneficial. … Currently health workers and security forces are often thrown together yet are flying blind because there is no global framework or investment to facilitate their engagement. … [W]e need to engage and help govern and define how and where and when militaries and police can and do provide support for an enabling environment for public and global health. To that end it is vital that we make a case for investment in the kind of partnerships that going forward make it possible for both the security and health sectors to train their personnel with the skills and understanding to operationally engage with each other in pursuit of better global and public health outcomes” (1/17).