Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Britain, Gordon Brown, gave a speech here in the US announcing a deal that would fund universal healthcare in developing countries:
"Today at this United Nations General Assembly, we will see history being made with the beginnings of universal free health care in Africa and Asia," Mr. Brown said in New York.The plan is backed by more than $5.7 billion from UN member nations. I can't find details of US (the only industrialized nation without universal health care) participation. In fact, I can't find decent coverage of this story inside the US. The excerpt above is from Australia.
"Ten million people will now for the first time get the treatment they need without being turned away of fearing how they will pay."
- $5.7bn Plan To Expand Health Care In Africa, Asia, ABC News AU
The UK published Brown's article, in which he wrote:
"The reduced use of health services in 20 African countries charging fees was alone responsible for 233,000 child deaths a year. Other estimates suggest that at least three million children have died as a direct result of user fees.I expect, as one of the richest countries in the world, we were called upon by Brown's Taskforce "to help poor countries achieve the goal of universal health coverage."
The evidence is shocking and conclusive and the entire world should be shamed into action.
I will call on every country in the developed world to help poor countries achieve the goal of universal health coverage. ... One step we can take immediately: to stop charging poor people for health services that they cannot afford.
I hope today it will be a turning point: a day when the battle to provide healthcare to all and abolish user fees won a significant victory."
I wonder how our contribution to universal healthcare in the developing world conflicts, if at all, with our national stance against universal healthcare.