TOP STORIES

UNGA president urges collaborative efforts to revolutionize global health systems

Dennis Francis (3rd R, First Row), president of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), speaks at the opening of the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage at the UN headquarters in New York, on Sept. 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Rui)

“Strengthened in this way, health systems could better help communities respond to and recover from shocks — all while preventing backsliding on health outcomes,” says Dennis Francis.

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) — Dennis Francis, president of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), on Thursday called on the international community to work together to radically transform the health systems.

“Let us work together to radically transform our health systems and create a world where health and well-being is no longer a privilege for the few — but a respected right for all,” the UNGA president, or the PGA, said at the opening of the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, one of the major meeting of world leaders being held during the high-level week of the UNGA 78th session.

“Our world is in a very different place today than it was in 2019,” Francis said. “As the COVID pandemic reminded us all too painfully, healthy people are the foundation of healthy societies and economies.”

Francis noted that this meeting is aimed at scaling up “our actions and investments in universal health coverage” to ensure that everyone receives quality health services, when and where needed, “without incurring financial hardship.”

He warned that the growing burden of out-of-pocket expenses has become a significant barrier to healthcare access across the globe. “Every year, millions of people are impoverished by the costs of healthcare. High costs keep essential health services out of reach. There is no reason for this to be the norm.”

The PGA underscored that “by expanding primary healthcare interventions, national healthcare systems can better cover the costs of essential health care services.”

“This could potentially save 60 million lives by 2030,” he said.

The High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage is held at the UN headquarters in New York, on Sept. 21, 2023. (Xinhua/Li Rui)

“Strengthened in this way, health systems could better help communities respond to and recover from shocks — all while preventing backsliding on health outcomes,” Francis stressed.

“I call on governments to increase — and improve the quality of — their healthcare investments, prioritizing equitable access and financial protection,” he said. “All stakeholders must be involved, from government ministries and civil society to patient groups, providers and citizens.”

The PGA emphasized the importance of prioritizing service to the most vulnerable populations, which includes individuals with disabilities, indigenous communities, mothers, newborns, and children, with a special focus.

He said that while keeping a gender perspective in mind, countries also need “a well-equipped healthcare workforce with fair compensation and decent working conditions.”

Francis stressed that with political leadership from the top down, “we can ensure that everyone has access to the health services they need.”

The world body says that the three-day high-level meeting presents an opportunity for countries and stakeholders to renew efforts and accelerate progress toward achieving health for all. “This will serve as the foundation for executing policies and ensuring responsibility for strengthening health systems for the future, building on the 2019 Political Declaration.” 

Xinhua

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

International News

UNICEF and KOICA’s $39 Million Project to Build Climate Resilience for Children

BALI, INDONESIA, 21 May 2024 – UNICEF and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have announced a groundbreaking US$39 million partnership to deliver climate-smart social services to vulnerable children in East Asia Pacific and Eastern and Southern Africa. Over the next three years, this collaboration will enhance the resilience of critical services like schools, healthcare, […]

Read More
International News

Observers declare Russian polls free, fair

THE Zimbabwe Election Observer Mission to the 2024 Presidential Elections of the Russian Federation has declared the election free, fair and credible. The delegation was led by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba. The observer mission commended the people of the Russian Federation for exercising their right to vote in a peaceful environment.  The […]

Read More
People inspect damage caused by an Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip [Said Khatib/AFP]
International News

South Africa urges ICJ to consider action on Israel’s planned Rafah assault

World Court asked to order additional emergency measures ahead of an assault on Gaza city crammed with displaced people. South Africa says it has asked the World Court to consider whether Israel’s plan to extend its offensive in the Gaza Strip into the densely populated southern city of Rafah requires additional emergency measures to protect […]

Read More