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Doctors call for more investment in public health


New Delhi : With many countries planning to cut their health budgets because of the economic slowdown, the World Medical Association (WMA) has appealed to governments to improve spending in public health, particularly in low income countries.

WMA, a conglomerate of medical associations around the world, passed a resolution at its general assembly here oct 14-17, warning that many countries were facing wide inequities and inequalities in health care, it said in a statement released here Tuesday.

These inequalities are causing problems of access to health services for the poorer segments of society, the resolution said.

WMA also agreed on new guidelines on improving the health of the world’s children.

Ruth Collins-Nakai, a member of the Canadian Medical Association, who chaired the WMA working group on child health, said: “The world’s children are worse off today than they were two decades ago and it is important that in proposing this broader policy we make physicians aware of just how tenuous the status of children is in the world.”

“For instance, many children in the world are not registered at birth and if you don’t register a child, it is much easier to kidnap them, exploit them and even kill them,” he said.

The association also agreed to work for improving physicians’ working conditions across the world, to deter physician migration.

The meeting warned that the migration of health care professionals from developing countries to developed countries over the past 10 years had impaired the performance of health systems in developing countries.