Economic crisis calls for strengthening health care
9 July 2010, New York
“We need global solutions to the crisis, and in this context, all countries must play their role”, said Mr. Assane Diop, Assistant Director General and Executive Director of Social Protection of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) during the panel “Operationalizing the UN system’s short and long-term responses to the economic and financial crisis”, during the 2010 Coordination Segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that was held between 6 and 8 July 2010.
The Coordination Segment focused on the follow up to the 2009 Ministerial Declaration on global public Health and the International Conference on Financing for Development.
“Global economic growth in 2009 and 2010 happened in economies of the South. On the contrary, countries with advantaged economies are still struggling to have significant growth recovery despite significant investments made to their financial systems”, said Mr. Diop during the panel, which also revised the cases of Argentina and El Salvador facing the crisis of 2001 and 2009, respectively.
The Assistant Director General of Health Systems of the World Health Organisation Dr. Carissa Etienne stated that most of the world’s poor people do not have access to the health systems. “The promotion and protection of health is essential to human welfare and to sustained economic and social development”, she said.
Dr. Etienne indicated that the “Providing For Health (P4H) Initiative” and the 2010 Health Report which will be released in November will provide suggestions on how to modify the financing systems for universal health coverage.
In addition, the Group 77 and China declared its commitment to ensuring that all populations have access to the highest standard of physical and mental health, and to ensure accessible, affordable and equitable healthcare. The Group stressed “the priority of the health sector in national policies and budget, and to preserve and increase the budget allocated to health, in spite of the financial and economic crisis”.