Global Health Council, Inc.

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
12.9 Emergency and trauma care

GHC, supported by Partners In Health, commends WHO for recognizing emergency care (EC) as an essential component of UHC.

EC for the acutely ill and injured is necessary to achieve UHC and meet the SDGs. However, emergency systems remain underdeveloped, especially in LMICs. This gap is disastrous for the most vulnerable, for whom EC is often the only point of access to care – and leads to excess morbidity and mortality from treatable conditions requiring time sensitive interventions. The DCP3 estimates over half the deaths in LMICs are attributable to conditions treatable with EC.

Experience shows that EC systems are a key component of UHC interventions at the primary and secondary health system levels. Since many patients in LMICs present only when acutely ill, investments in EC promote the success of other programs. EC stabilizes and links to care patients with many priority conditions, including HIV, malaria, NCDs, surgical emergencies, trauma, and pregnancy complications. EC also provides definitive care for many and ensures timely treatment – a key aspect of quality. EC training strengthens health workforces, and adds resiliency to health systems to reduce mortality from mass casualties, emerging epidemics and natural disasters. EC interventions are highly cost effective, proven to reduce morbidity and mortality, and improve health equity.

We call on member states to adopt the EC Resolution, and to prioritize and fund its recommendations. We urge the WHO to work with member states to:
- Strengthen EC programs
- Train providers and health professional students on EC
- Evaluate emergency disease patterns and EC implementation strategies
- Prioritize access to quality EC regardless of ability to pay

We commend member states and the WHO for recognizing that these actions will save lives, magnify the impact of other health interventions, protect the most vulnerable, and ensure a continued path towards universal access to care a