The meeting of the G7 Health Ministers, chaired by Agnès Buzyn, was held in Paris on 16 and 17 May. At the meeting, the G7 members committed to improving access to health care for all and strengthening primary health care. Five international organizations will cooperate in the coming months to create a platform for knowledge-sharing in this field.
The joint declaration adopted by the G7 members addresses the ambitious goals set by France:
1. Combating unequal access to healthcare
Today, more than half of the global population does not have access to all the health services they need. In many countries, health systems struggle to address the diverse health issues encountered by individuals over the course of their lives.
The G7 members committed to strengthening primary health care, which addresses the needs of individuals throughout their lives in terms of prevention, screening and treatment and which represents the most comprehensive response to health care inequality.
They also agreed on a priority: combating gender equality, particularly as regards access to health care worldwide and representation of women in health care sector decision-making authorities.
2. Stepping up the fight against pandemics to end AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria by 2030
AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria continue to kill more than 2.7 million people annually. France has historically been strongly committed to combating these three pandemics. Having provided €4.5 billion since 2002, France is the second-largest historic contributor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Current forecasts are however dire, showing that the fragility of health systems risks causing the return of the major pandemics.
The G7 countries have committed to continuing their efforts to ensure the success of the sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which will be held for the first time in France in Lyon, on 9 and 10 October 2019. This international conference will seek to raise new funding to combat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in order to eliminate the three pandemics by 2030, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
3. Improving the effectiveness of health systems by sharing knowledge
At the initiative of the G7 members, five international organizations have committed to cooperating for the first time on the creation of a knowledge-sharing platform.
On 17 May, a letter of commitment to collaborating on primary health care was signed by: the World Health Organization (WHO); the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and the World Bank. They will draft a report by the end of 2019 on the means of creating a collaborative platform for G7 members.
This platform should help:
- develop sharing of knowledge and expertise around primary health care between G7 countries;
- strengthen dialogue on primary health care between G7 countries and low- and middle-income countries, particularly in the G5 Sahel;
- foster innovation around strengthening primary health care, while drawing on contributions from civil society (researchers, specialists, patients, NGOs and the private sector, for example).
“This declaration lays the foundations for enhanced cooperation to improve access to health care for all. We will continue our efforts in the coming months with support from all stakeholders, so that health remains a priority and a fundamental theme on the international agenda,”
Agnès Buzyn, French Minister for Solidarity and Health, as she closed the G7 ministerial meeting.
What happens next?
The commitments in this declaration will be presented at the Leaders’ Summit in Biarritz, which will be held from 24 to 26 August. They will also be taken into consideration at other international events in 2019, including:
• The World Health Assembly in Geneva on 20 May;
• The United Nations General Assembly in New York on 18 September;
• The Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Lyon on 10 October;
• The meeting of G20 Health Ministers on 19 and 20 October in Okayama.
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