Didier Houssin

Against the epidemic risk Publication date : February 6, 2014

Didier Houssin has been a professor of surgery at Paris-Descartes University since 1988. A specialist in surgery and liver transplants, he is a former director general of the Etablissement Français des Greffes (French Transplant Establishment), Chief of Surgery at Hôpital Cochin, director of medical policy for Paris hospitals and director general of health services. Since 2011 he has headed the French assessment agency for research and higher education (AERES).

In the late 20th century, several major health crises occurred in France. Triggered by medical products (blood) or by environmental factors (asbestos, heat waves), these crises resulted in a loss of confidence in a health system that had failed to function properly. Although improved health safety procedures have since been introduced these have not always succeeded in preventing crises.
A number of epidemics occurred during the same period, some of global and potentially alarming proportions. Such serious health crises as Aids, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) and SARS required a global approach.
The aim of this book is to learn from past crises and improve health and safety protection. Nowadays, major epidemics ought to be regarded as natural catastrophes that we must anticipate and prepare for rather than submit to.

• An indispensable reflection on health and safety precautions that need to be established for the future.
• The fascinating and disturbing history of past global health crises.
• A crucial analysis by an expert in health and medical policies.