Voice of the Jewish News: UK and Israel’s healthy relations

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Voice of the Jewish News: UK and Israel’s healthy relations

This week's editorial reflects on the importance of the UK-Israel Dangoor Health Initiative in strengthening bilateral ties and the NHS

Inside an NHS hospital
Inside an NHS hospital

 Only a few years ago, if you wanted to see what health secrets your genetics hid, you’d have to spend millions of pounds and use a network of labs to sequence your genome.

Now the same exercise costs as much as a second-hand bike, takes a fraction of the time and can be done using gadgets you hold in your hand. Such is the sometimes scary pace of change in the healthcare industry, one of the world’s largest markets.

The future will be almost unrecognisable. Consider the microbiome, that bacterial ecosystem living in your gut. What they’re finding out about it now will soon revolutionise what we eat and how we feel.

Likewise, knowing our genes will put an end to trial-and-error drugs, because we’ll know what works and what doesn’t based on our DNA. And with the advance of computing power, our problems will soon be diagnosed by intelligent ‘bots, with scans and imaging analysed earlier, quicker, more accurately and cheaper by algorithms. In short, healthcare as we know it will be turned on its head.

Old-school gent and British Jewish philanthropist David Dangoor knows what’s coming and has planned for the UK and Israel to head into this bio-health revolution together, launching this week an initiative that will pair the two countries in
this field.

Scientists in both countries are among the world’s best, and already work together in many fields. This initiative breaks new ground in pairing the NHS with Israeli start-ups to help nudge us along that revolutionary road.

The motivation couldn’t be stronger. The NHS is sadly on its knees, forever ‘in crisis’ and is, it could be argued, desperately in need of a fundamental redesign because it was conceived in another era just after the war, a bygone age if you consider the pace of change in healthcare.

Mr Dangoor is helping in a small way, as are Israelis, whose ingenuity and habit of asking questions will help humanity’s health for years to come. Watch this space…

Help perform the greatest mitzvah: save a life

While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.

That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.

We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.

Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”

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