Medicus Mundi International

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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: 

MMI appreciates this opportunity to address the EB. Our statement is supported by PHM.
We welcome WHO’s renewed commitment to realize Health for All as signaled by the Astana Declaration. However, we wish to express the following concerns:

Truly people-centered and democratic health systems cannot be grafted onto the extreme levels of inequality we witness today. PHM calls on MS to return to the original intention of the Alma Ata Declaration, and uphold a human rights-based approach to health that incorporates the redistribution of power and wealth, within and between countries.

PHM has repeatedly argued that CPHC should not be considered ancillary to UHC, nor should UH care and UH coverage be conflated. Currently, WHO’s conception of UHC celebrates the financial benefits of PHC and ignores that UH care and PHC cannot be divorced from broader efforts to achieve more equitable societies.

Enough reliable evidence exists that privatization and PPPs negatively affect accessibility and quality of care, thus undermining Health for All. Nonetheless, the Operational Framework unambiguously endorses cooperation with private sector providers. We urge MS to insist on an Operational Framework that specifies that MS bear the principal responsibility for health care provision and governance, and to pay greater attention to regulating the role of the private sector in health care, including questions of conflict of interest.

CPHC should be universal, based on social solidarity and built on a unified publicly funded system, with most service provision through public institutions. Therefore, we greet the announced shift towards health system strengthening and urge MS to make systematic efforts to build strong, CPHC-based health systems.