Education and Solidarity Network

FRANCE: “HEALTHCARE, WHAT ACCESS IS AVAILABLE, AT WHAT PRICE?” – A CONFERENCE BY ESSENTIEL

d.desplanques
May 11, 2015

Article presented by ESSENTIEL, a member of the ESN.

ESSENTIEL, Oxfam France and the Doctors of the World branch in Nantes organised a conference and debate on access to healthcare throughout the world on Thursday 16 April 2015. It concerned questioning individuals’ access to healthcare in terms of existing systems and policies as well as financial barriers within a context of economic and social crisis.

In response to these issues, the various actors present shared and compared their experiences to promote access to healthcare:

  • OXFAM analysed the concept of right to healthcare, provided a picture of the situation in various countries and outlined the existing policies in order to promote the establishment of universal healthcare cover with a focus on Senegal; Oxfam, as an international solidarity organisation, conducts advocacy in this respect and supports the civil society as an actor of this movement;
  • Mr Die-Kakou of MUGEF-CI returned to the situation in the Ivory Coast. He illustrated this through the General Mutual Benefit Fund for Civil Servants in the Ivory Coast and its contribution to the establishment of a national social protection policy by taking responsibility for part of the population’s formal sector;
  • ESSENTIEL addressed the issue of healthcare renunciation both in Guinea-Conakry where the association intervenes as part of the Santé Pour Tous (Health For All) project in support of establishing community mutual health insurance for the informal sector, and in France as part of its attachment to the mutual insurance system.
  • Doctors of the World described its work of supporting the most precarious and vulnerable populations in order to assert their right to healthcare and ensure access to healthcare systems in France, to thus combat healthcare renunciation.

This conference brought together around forty people and enabled two dynamics at work to be compared in terms of global healthcare: while southern hemisphere countries address the issue regarding the right and access to healthcare and various systems to achieve this, in France the issue more concerns healthcare renunciation and reviewing the existing social protection system. The obstacles but also the many existing systems were considered in order to assert the right to healthcare throughout the world. As healthcare actors, the speakers illustrated the various levels of intervention and questioned the role of each (NGO, international organisations, the State, healthcare providers, mutual insurance companies) as regards the advocacy to be conducted in order to provide access to healthcare for all.

The questions from the audience followed the themes of the speakers’ speeches and enabled a dynamic and high quality debate.

The Maison des Citoyens du Monde (World Citizens’ Centre) also referred to this event on its website: http://www.mcm44.org/spip.php?article686

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