Posted on November 03, 2016

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) has announced Professor Dame Sally Davies (pictured), England’s Chief Medical Officer, as the second keynote speaker for the 2016 Summit. Dame Sally  will join renowned economist Lawrence H Summers, the Charles W Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University, as a keynote speaker for the event, which will take place in Doha from 29th – 30th November.

Dame Sally is the most senior independent advisor to the UK government on medical matters, with particular responsibilities regarding public and global health. She was previously the Chief Scientific Advisor for the Department of Health from 2004, where she founded the National Institute for Health Research. Dame Sally sits on the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board. She advises many governments on health and policy, holding positions on a number of boards and groups, including the Singapore A Star International Advisory Group and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Board.

In 2013, Dame Sally published a report on infectious diseases bringing renewed focus to the increasing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and calling for action to address the key areas of stewardship, monitoring and surveillance, and antibiotic development.  Since this publication, Dame Sally continues to advocate globally on AMR with a recent high-level meeting at the United Nations General Assembly. She was chair of the 2013 WISH AMR forum and is chair of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on AMR to the WHO.

The recent United Nations General Assembly Declaration on AMR underlined that all countries need to work with each other, as well as with civil society and industry, to prevent infection, find new antibiotics and diagnostics and encourage responsible use of drugs already in use. Dame Sally will outline what action needs to be taken now to heed the UN call and what are the challenges that we still face as a global community. She will be speaking on the first day of the WISH Summit. “I am delighted to be speaking at WISH 2016. This is an important forum for health experts from around the world to discuss the challenges that we face as a global community, and to discover innovative new ways to solve them. I will be focusing, in my keynote address, on the growing issue of antimicrobial resistance, and look forward to new perspectives on how we can galvanise global action to tackle this threat,” she said.

Egbert Schillings, Chief Executive Officer of WISH, said: “Dame Sally’s leadership on the issue of antimicrobial resistance in global health is unmatched; from her publication ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’ to her tireless advocacy around the world and in every health policy forum. Most recently she has written very eloquently about the role of leadership in health systems, defining it as the ability to identify priorities, set a vision, and mobilise the actors and resources needed to achieve them. This is exactly what Dame Sally has been doing so successfully, and we are fortunate to have her voice and wisdom inform the debate at WISH 2016.”

WISH, a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), is a meeting point for thousands of high-level policymakers, academics, and professionals. It has also evolved into a key platform for the dissemination of healthcare innovation and best practices. The WISH Summit will feature innovation showcases from around the world that are shaping the design, delivery, and financing of care, as well as a cohort of young innovators; emerging healthcare leaders under the age of 30, whose contributions to global health deserve wider recognition.

The WISH 2016 Summit will feature nine panels and research papers that highlight and address some of the world’s most pressing healthcare challenges, including Accountable Care, Autism, Behavioural Insights, Cardiovascular Disease, Genomics in the Gulf Region and Islamic Ethics, Health Professional Education, Healthy Populations, Investing in Health, and Precision Medicine. Internationally-renowned experts will chair the discussions. For the first time, WISH will also report on its impact locally and globally, on issues previously highlighted at the conference, such as diabetes and patient safety.

For further information about WISH, please visit and Twitter @WISHQatar.