Public Services International

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- WHO’s work in health emergencies

PSI brings together 14 million workers in 300 health unions across 156 countries and territories. We appreciate the selfless efforts of frontline health workers and commend WHO for its role in helping to save lives and reduce suffering with the WHE programme, at great cost.
Strong public health systems are essential to strengthening national preparedness. We urge MS to deepen their commitment of resources to public health. Conditionalities of international financial institutions which constrict fiscal policy space for this in LMICs should be discouraged.
The level of funding for the WHE, mainly from donors, is equally inadequate for the work it does. We call on member states to increase their contributions to the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies and Assessed Contributions, for the programme’s long-term sustainability.
The targeting of emergency workers, particularly in DRC, Gaza and Nigeria, is of utmost concern. We call on MS to do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of health workers in conflict zones. Regional initiatives to curtail non-state armed bodies should be considered, and such violence by armed bodies of states disavowed.
We urge MS to respect trade union rights as an important element for promoting health workers’ roles in health emergencies.