Gordon Brown and Douglas Alexander have announced that the UK is poised to help low-income countries remove user fees for basic health services. The Prime Minister has written to several governments, including those of Kenya, Nepal and Liberia, urging them to consider making healthcare free, and offering Britain’s help with the transition. The Department for International Development has offered help with technical assistance, drugs and ensuring that doctors and nurses receive fair pay deals.
RESULTS has been campaigning for the abolition of user fees for health and education for many years. User fees prevent the poorest, especially women and children from accessing healthcare and other services, and are responsible for many unnecessary child and maternal deaths. We are therefore very pleased that the UK government have taken the initiative on this issue.
Our campaign action in September 2009 will draw on this issue, pushing the UK to go even further by lobbying the World Bank to take a stance opposed to user fees, and calling on the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to also support the removal of unfair user fees.
Read more about the annoucement in this article from the Guardian.