Your money or your life
Publisher/Organizer: OXFAM International
Publication date: September 2009
User fees for health care are a life or death issue for millions of people in poor countries. Too poor to pay, women and children are paying with their lives. For those who do pay, over 100 million are pushed into poverty each year.
On 23rd September world leaders will meet at the United Nations General Assembly in New York for a high-level event on health. On the table is a proposal to support at least seven developing countries to fully implement free care for women and children or to expand free health services to all. The seven countries are Burundi, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal and Sierra Leone. The need to make health care free and expand access in these and other countries is beyond question, but to do so successfully requires high-level political commitment and sustained additional financial and technical support.
Sixty-two organisations are calling on leaders in the North and South to back this proposal on 23rd September and announce the additional and long-term support they will provide over the coming years to make it a success.
Jasmine Whitbread, Save the Children's Chief Executive, said: “If free health care had been introduced in 2000 when world leaders promised to reduce child mortality by two-thirds, the lives of more than two million children could have been saved by now. Leaders have the power and the responsibility to make healthcare free for poor families. Allowing any more children to die because they can't afford treatment is inexcusable.”
Adrienne Germain, President of the International Women’s Health Coalition said, “I’ve seen myself the impact of imposing—and lifting—user fees on women, children and families. We urgently need the carefully designed action called for in “Your Money or Your Life."
The report has been backed by 62 NGOs and unions including: Action for Global Health, Action Aid, Action Aid Burundi, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal & Sierra Leone, AIDES, AIDOS, Avocats pour la Santé dans le Monde (See attached file: Your Money or Your Life.pdf)France, Cara International Consulting Ltd, Citizens United to Promote Peace and Democracy in Liberia, Commonwealth Association of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition (CAPGAN), Commonwealth HIV & AIDS Action Group, Commonwealth Nurses Federation, Diverse Women for Diversity, Regional Network on Equity in Health in Southern Africa (EQUINET), Essential Services Platform of Ghana, European Public Health Alliance, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) Liberia, Global Health Advocates India, Global Health Advocates Switzerland, Initiative for Health Equity & Society, Integrated Social Development Centre (Ghana), Interact, International Women’s Health Coalition, International Peoples Health Council (South Asia), Liberia Democratic Institute, Malawi Health Equity Network, Médecins du Monde (France, Portugal, Spain & UK), Médecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Merlin, National Organization of Nurses and Midwives of Malawi, National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS Malawi, Oxfam, People's Health Movement, Physicians for Human Rights, Public Services International, Plan, Resource Centre for Primary Health Care (RECPHEC) Nepal, Results UK, Save the Children UK, Sidaction, Stop AIDS Campaign, Treatment Action Group (TAG), TB Alert, The International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Trades Union Congress (TUC), UNISON, UK Student Stop AIDS Campaign, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), WEMOS (Netherlands), World Vision International, Women and Children First.
For more information report please contact: Anna Marriott, Health Policy Advisor, email@example.com or Sarah Dransfield, Oxfam Press Officer, 01865 472269/ 07767 085636, firstname.lastname@example.org.