International Federation of Medical Students' Associations

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.5.1 Primary health care towards universal health coverage
Statement: 

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, supported by the International Association of Dental Students, commits to achieving Health for All through Universal Health Coverage, a global effort to promote health and prevent, diagnose, treat and palliate diseases.

Primary healthcare is an essential pillar of Universal Health Coverage. It is well suited to address more than just the treatment of disease, being a platform through which we can eliminate health inequities caused by social, political and commercial determinants of health. Discrimination in accessing healthcare is prevalent in many settings and must be eliminated, with primary health care being an excellent candidate to accomplish it.

Primary healthcare is a cost-effective way to provide care, with telemedicine, m- and e-Health representing new opportunities to streamline primary healthcare delivery. In fact, youth is particularly suited to promote and develop healthcare technologies.

Scaling up the health workforce to achieve Universal Health Coverage will require a comprehensive plan of action that takes into account education, employment, migration, social and economic conditions, and the need for increased and sustainable investments in healthcare. Creating interprofessional teams and including youth are crucial elements that must be taken to achieve UHC.

We congratulate the health community for the Astana Declaration. However, we were saddened by the exclusion of the role of youth from the outcome document. In order to build a strong primary healthcare network, it is of the utmost importance to include all relevant stakeholders, including future health professionals. We urge future initiatives not to forget any stakeholder and look forward to the meaningful engagement of young people at the High-Level Meeting in September.

We already have the tools; if we find the political will, we can achieve Health for All.