WMA welcomes world leader's commitment to strengthen health systems

(17.11.2014) The World Medical Association has welcomed the news that world leaders are to provide extra funding to fight Ebola.

Commenting on the communique issued after the G20 summit in Brisbane, Dr. Mukesh Haikerwal, Chair of the WMA, said: ‘What is particularly welcome is the announcement in the communique by the G20 leaders of their commitment to strengthen health systems globally. It has been the failure of weak health systems in West Africa that has allowed the Ebola outbreak to spread, endangering all countries.

Yet world leaders have continually ignored health’.

Dr. Haikerwal was speaking after a parallel health summit held in Melbourne 24 hours before the G20 summit emphasised the need to focus more on health as an investment. The Melbourne summit urged world leaders to open a meaningful dialogue with the health sector to progress better health outcomes across the world. Delegates at the meeting noted that concerns about health costs existed in all nations and that good health systems were a marker of a fair and just society.

Dr. Haikerwal added: ‘We will now hold world leaders to their commitment to strengthen health systems and condemn them if they fail to follow through on their statement. It is time world leaders realised that the health sector employs significant numbers of people and that a productive society depends on a healthy, engaged and confident workforce.

‘For too long these world summits have failed to recognise that health is the greatest social capital a nation can have’.