The Marshall Plan for the Healthcare System - In conversation with Nnamdi Njoku

Inspiration And Insights
3 min readJun 17, 2023
Image from Unsplash by MARIOLA GROBELSKA

The Marshall Plan was a program designed to rehabilitate the economies of European countries so that they could survive the aftermath of World War II. It was strategic, intentional, and aimed at curing the economies after the disaster they had faced.

Many would agree that despite dynamic technological advances and constant innovation, our healthcare systems are nowhere close to perfect. One of the biggest gaps lies in healthcare inequity. Today we are in conversation with Nnamdi Njoku, a healthcare executive and healthcare equity advocate. Nnamdi is sharing with us how he views healthcare equity, and how we need to implement the “Marshall Plan for healthcare”.

Health care equity…a topic that is near to your heart. You started and support several initiatives at your current company to work toward health equity. Can you talk to us why this is relevant to you personally, as well as from a professional point of view. And, maybe even more importantly, what can, and should we do to make progress? How do we go beyond talking but actually take action?

“There are numerous healthcare inequities that are highlighted in our system. When looking at that from the context of cross-cultural attunement and being exposed to various healthcare systems, it is easy to see the types of inequities that exist and how healthcare systems around the world are structured.

“Healthcare is one of the most basic necessities of life. A lack in the healthcare system almost becomes an economic issue — because without healthcare inequity being addressed the ability for a society to achieve its full potential economically vanishes as well. If large parts of society are not healthy or don’t have access to good quality and affordable healthcare — that very obviously becomes an economic issue. This concept makes me think about ‘fairness’. Fairness is one of my core values — how do we treat each other? A society built around the unfair distribution of healthcare resources is an unstable one. How do we go about fixing that?

“Covid was proof that the health of one person affects the health of many. We are all so connected. The healthcare system is intertwined and connected in itself. Imagine a doctor treating a patient — no illness is cured in isolation. No body part is treated by itself — we treat entire people or bodies, not just body parts. Similarly, when we are trying to fix the healthcare system, we need to think about every aspect that entails, not just any one part of it.

“There are some tactical ways to think about eliminating inequities as well. Conducting clinical trials on diverse populations, collecting data on breakthrough therapies, ensuring there is a diverse pipeline of clinicians and so on. As business leaders we need to intentionally think about where we invest capital — making sure to invest in research pertaining to diverse groups of society as well. Changing the paradigm of how we approach healthcare involves all of the above.

“I like to call this the ‘Marshall Plan for Healthcare’ — a strategic and well thought out plan of action to help rebuild parts of our healthcare system. Exploring each and every aspect and approaching them as a whole would be the best way to create a desirable healthcare system in America and around the world. We need a bold plan.”

Thank you for sharing, Nnamdi.

Connect with Nnamdi on LinkedIn.