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Academic Health Science Centres, revisited

Comment on: Revisiting academic health sciences systems a decade later: discovery to health to population to society

Timely update in Lancet on academic health science systems.

These organisations have the missions of research, teaching and clinical services plus this paper’s added mission of social impact, or population health. They are important because they are both owners of the problems in healthcare delivery and clinical services as well as the providers of solutions through their research which they implement. The intergenerational transfer to knowledge (i.e. teaching) requires they be on the cutting edge of knowledge; more generally, they should be seen as ‘breeder sites’ of best practice.

They are also expensive and consume huge financial resources so their effectiveness demands that they be well-run organisations that are deeply socially connected to deliver on the population health mission as in most cases their funding is public money.

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