All That Glitters is Not “Macroeconomics”
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Despite many problems, the Report on Macroeconomics and Health is an important document. It re-launches the role of the WHO, which in itself is a good thing, as the WHO is an organisation potentially more independent and democratic than the World Bank. “Combating disease will be clearest proof of our capacity to construct an authentic global community. There is no justification in the world today for those millions of individuals suffering and dying every year for lack of the $34 dollars per head necessary to have essential health care services. A world that is just and looks to the future will not allow this tragedy to continue. Governments will follow commitments taken in recent years with what actions are necessary to give dignity, hope and life itself to the poorer and more vulnerable nations of the world. We know that this is possible and we are sure that in the years to come the world will dedicate all its energy to the service of this noble and vital task’. This is the concluding paragraph to the Report “Macroeconomics and Health: Investing in Health for Economic Development”, published by the WHO on 20 December 2001. Full marks go to Gro Harlem the attempt at restoring visibility to the WHO, which has been obscured recently by a colourless of the World Bank. She has started by evening Primary Health Care and gone on with an important, even if controversial, Annual Report on the performance of health care systems which is stimulating new and hopefully productive discussion of international public health care.
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