Addressing barriers to health care
Health care in danger: Respecting and Protecting Health Care
Insecurity of health care in armed conflict and other situations of violence is one of the biggest and yet under-recognized humanitarian issue today.
Attacks on health-care facilities and personnel, delays of ambulances at checkpoints or looting of clinics are often perceived by the media and therefore the public as inevitable armed conflict war casualties.
The real and long term impact of such violent events on health care personnel or infrastructures is also largely ignored by the media. One act of violence that kills a health-care worker or damages a hospital has a knock-on effect on many more people who would normally have been treated by this person or in this hospital; this usually goes unreported.
Co-sponsored by 48 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the "Health Care in Danger" resolution adopted during the International Conference calls on the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to deepen its consultations with health-care experts from States and the health-care community, to formulate recommendations for making the delivery of health care safer in armed conflict and other emergencies. The initiative received overwhelming support in the form of around 30 statements at the commission debating the initiative.
More information on ICRC Health Care in Danger project on ICRC website at this page.
Inequitable access to health: A focus on women and children
In addition to insecurity of healthcare in armed conflict, the movement identified inequities in maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) as one of the most important barrier to health care, which requested action the most urgently.
The 31st International Conference adopted a resolution on this specific area. It calls upon the National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies to use their status as auxiliaries to their public authorities in the humanitarian field to engage in dialogue, take part in reviewing existing health plans, and where necessary advocate for equity, to engage in advocacy on health-seeking behaviour and strengthen partnerships with Governments and Civil Society Organizations to extend advocacy effectiveness and also to set the example of gender equality in their own policies and programs and serve as role models for governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector. In turn, States are called upon to encourage the formal health sector to embrace non-discrimination, and improve the quality and character of patient-provider interactions by increasing commitments to non-discrimination, ethical practices, and professional health care standards. Possible examples include posting patient rights in health centers, adopting ethical charters, forming independent ethics commissions, and training health care workers on ethical practices and gender sensitivity.
More information on IFRC’s work in the area on Maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and mother and child programmes can be found on the IFRC website at this page.