G7 Countries Prioritise Primary Health Care At Health Ministers’ Meeting In Paris

Health Ministers from G7 countries wrapped up a two-day meeting today in Paris that focused on strengthening primary health care, health inequalities for developing countries and the elimination of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Entitled “Ensuring Health Care For All: A G7 Priority,” the meeting of the Group of 7 (G7) most developed countries also announced the launch of a new primary health care initiative – which will seek to improve primary health care through knowledge sharing.

The meeting, hosted by the Government of France, included G7 Health Ministers from Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Agnès Buzyn, French Minister for Solidarity and Health (center) with other G7 Health Ministers at the meeting in Paris.

“More than half of the global population do not have access to all the health service they need. In many countries, health systems fail to address the diverse health issues encountered by individuals over the course of their lives,” the French Government noted in advance of the meeting.

“To combat this inequality, France intends to promote strengthening of primary health care, which is the cornerstone of health systems and a prerequisite for socio-economic development benefiting populations,” it said.

“Access to health care is a fundamental right without which stability and development are threatened. Investing in health care is an absolute necessity to ensure populations have access to prevention and quality health care,” Agnès Buzyn, French Minister for Solidarity and Health, said in the lead-up to the meeting.

“Merci beaucoup Agnès Buzyn, Minister of Health of France, for welcoming us today at the G7 Ministerial Meeting. WHO is grateful for France’s strong leadership and efforts to put Health For All firmly on the international agenda,” Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said in a tweet.

Also present at the meeting were representatives from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“Great to have an opportunity to present to the G7 Health Minister’s meeting hosted by the wonderful French Minister Agnès Buzyn on the importance of PHC [primary health care]. Really positive to have the ministers focusing on global issues including developing countries,” Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, said in a tweet.

“At the G7 Health Ministers meeting in Paris. Great discussion on knowledge-sharing for primary health care, and the imperative of a successful Global Fund replenishment to Step Up The Fight,” Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, said in a tweet.

France will also host the Global Fund Replenishment Conference to be held later this year in Lyon on 10 October 2019, which will bring together representatives from donor countries, civil society and the private sector to raise the US$14 billion needed to combat the three pandemics.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) were also key topic discussed at the Ministers’ meeting, with a presentation by Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver, a global advocacy NGO.

Women 7, a movement for a truly feminist G7 in 2019, said in a tweet: “Worldwide, 1 woman dies every 8 minutes from unsafe abortion. The Women 7 calls on G7 Health Ministers to change that by supporting SRHR for women and girls.”

Image Credits: G7 France.

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