UN News: Healthcare’s a human right, not ‘a privilege for the rich’ UNAIDS argues at Davos

22 January, 2020

Extract and a comment from me below. Full text here: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/01/1055711

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In a press release issued as the World Economic Forum gets fully underway in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, UNAIDS Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said that the right to health “is eluding the poor and people trying to lift themselves out of poverty are being crushed by the unacceptably high costs of health care”, with at least half the world’s population unable to access essential health services.

“The richest one per cent benefit from cutting-edge science while the poor struggle to get even basic health care,” she added.

Every year 100 million people are pushed into extreme #poverty paying for health care. That’s three people every second. Health cannot be a privilege of the rich. It is a human right that belongs to all. #HealthForAll #WEF2020 #WEF20 #Davos2020 #SDGs #UHC #FightInequality

In many countries, people are denied health care or receive poor quality health care because of unaffordable user fees.

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Comment (Neil PW): Money is by no means the only issue. As we have discussed on HIFA, and recently demonstrated in The Lancet, most avoidable deaths in LMICs result from poor quality of care. Poor quality of care includes many aspects other than 'unaffordable user fees', and it starts in the home (indeed it is said that 80% of avoidable child deaths in Africa occur before reaching a health facility). Life-saving interventions such as sugar-salt solution for child diarrhoea are locally available and affordable to almost everyone, but are simply not provided in time because of lack of healthcare information.

On our website and publications HIFA argues that 'Lack of healthcare information contributes to tens of thousands of avoidable deaths every day worldwide, across all areas of health care'. If anyone on HIFA is interested to work with us to evaluate further the quantitative contribution of (lack of) healthcare information to avoidable death and suffering, please get in touch: neil@hifa.org

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org