Not-for-profit healthcare insurers adopt recommendations for more resilient societies to better prepare, face and overcome pandemics. Today, AIM’s (International association of health insurance funds and health mutuals) Board of Directors and General Assembly of has adopted its recommendations: “Only in solidarity can we overcome pandemics”. At the same time AIM adopted its declarations for Africa and the Middle East and for South America.
Today, AIM’s (International association of health insurance funds and health mutuals) Board of Directors and General Assembly of has adopted its recommendations: “Only in solidarity can we overcome pandemics”. At the same time AIM adopted its declarations for Africa and the Middle East and for South America.
“We are glad to see that we recognize a lot of our proposals in the European Commission proposal for ‘Building a European Health Union’, which was published only a few days ago. The EU and the rest of the world will get through this pandemic together, but only by solidarity and cooperation. That is the main message of the AIM recommendations and the declarations. It is an illusion to think that countries in today’s society can keep the virus out. Not only in Europe, but all over the world we can learn from each other’s experiences in combating the pandemic”, says Loek Caubo, newly elected AIM President.
Better coordination needed
In the recommendations, AIM calls for a solid EU coordination of health measures to fight pandemics by upgrading the already existing European Center for Disease Control (ECDC). AIM also asks for an EU preparedness plan with clear competences of the European and International institutions as well as a clear governance description. A mapping of national pandemic measurements and execution of stress tests supported by an improved digitalized surveillance system could support this objective.
Health has to become a political priority in the European Semester
AIM requests that the resilience of healthcare systems and a better preparedness for health emergencies should be a political priority in the European Semester. They should have the same weight as economic and fiscal coordination.
“We need to address social inequalities as they worsen the spread of pandemics such as the COVID-19 one. This is especially important when it comes to access to needed health products and vaccination.” According to AIM President, vaccines need to be available at a fair price and the availability of materials to supply national healthcare systems in a period of increased demand needs to be ensured. In this respect, the needs of the elderly should also be taken into account.
Universal access to health care and building health care systems in Africa and in the Middle East is key
With regard to Africa, AIM calls for promoting the roles of mutuals and civil society while striving for an inclusive response to the pandemic. Health and social systems in Africa and the Middle East need to be strengthened and equipped. Lastly, mitigating the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic will be the key challenge for this region.
Tackling inequalities and ensuring continuity in/of ? health care in Latin America
For Latin America, tackling inequalities and improving the general health status of populations by acting on risk factors will be pre-requisites to prepare for future pandemics. Continuity in health care services during the pandemic requires a better coordination of all actors and a greater involvement of and support for mutuals in the region. AIM indeed sees a major role for the mutualist movement and calls for the recognition of the key role they play in both the recovery and preparedness for future pandemics. AIM also demands that international institutions put better social protection at the heart of cooperation policies with these regions and countries.
AIM is ready to cooperate with both the European Union and the WHO to build strong health systems in Europe, in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
The AIM recommendations and declarations for Africa, the Middle East and Latin America are accompanied by annexes stating how health insurance funds and health mutuals in Europe and in the world have dealt with the crisis.