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WMA calls for stronger physician-led health care systems worldwide

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World Medical Association President Dr Yoshitake Yokokura has called on world leaders to strengthen healthcare systems based on physician-led primary care.

Using a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York discussing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Dr Yokokura welcomed the Political Declaration on the prevention and control of NCDs.

The emphasis of the declaration is on strengthening the link between NCDs and the social-economic and environmental determinants of health.

Dr Yokokura added, however, that he regretted the declaration does not include clear and measurable commitments.

He said the WMA is particularly concerned by the lack of specific commitments and targets for funding. The WMA is advocating for the inclusion of more NCDs to avoid a silo approach.

“Health care professionals see first-hand the devastating impact of NCDs on patients and their families,” Dr Yokokura said.

“Physicians are treating an increasing number of cases and are seeing more and more complex cases. NCDs are increasing the bill and burden on already under-resourced health care systems. 

“In the light of the expected increased demand for 18 million more health workers, primarily in low and lower middle-income countries by 2030, healthcare system strengthening is of the utmost importance to reduce the growing burden of NCDs.”

The WMA called for UN member states to use the momentum of the declaration to set ambitious country targets, to commit to additional funding for NCDs and to draw up policies and measures in country action plans which aim to support.