Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All

MMI Network News, November 2013

...coming together: a fusion of the Forum and the HW4ALL project logos
...coming together: a fusion of the Forum and the HW4ALL project logos

Instead of an editorial: Looking back to the HRH Forum

Dear reader,

Instead of a proper editorial, let me highlight some analysis undertaken by members of the European “Health workers for all and all for health workers” project after the recent Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health in Recife, Brazil:

“WHO and GHWA had very little time to organize this Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health. And although I am rather frustrated that it was mostly about sending information (I was also spreading messages myself), I am also excited to read that with the Recife Political Declaration on Human Resources for Health government representatives commit themselves again firmly to implementing the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. Together with our own commitment, we will use the Political Declaration to hold our governments accountable for developing mechanisms towards improved and equitable access for every person to competent health workers and health services.” Linda Mans, Wemos: Time to blossom? Renewed partnership of WHO and GHWA,

“According to a report launched by the World Health Organisation at the event, the global shortage of health workers is even more critical than previously thought, and is set to rise from 7.2 to 12.9 million by 2035, with the most acute shortages to be felt in sub-Saharan Africa. It would be wrong to say the Third Global Forum completely overlooked the brain drain. I heard it mentioned a few times, and one side session was dedicated to the issue of migration. Yet overall, from what I heard (and with several side events happening at once it’s true that I didn’t hear it all), my impression is that the issue of compensation as a response to the brain drain didn’t get anywhere near the attention it deserved.” Nathalie Sharples, Health Poverty Action: The Health Worker Crisis,

“Everybody agreed that there is an established consensus on the fact that political will is essential for HRH development. I always feel lost in this statement, as I keep asking myself  which kind of political will we are referring to? For me the critical question is: if this political will actually existed, would it incorporate the equity dimension? As the equity dimension cannot be assumed as a natural part of any political will, it seems to me that saying that the latter is central leaves the political issue undefined. In addition, the political will of a Minister of Health can do little when confronted to broader determinants such as the lack of development in rural areas, or a low negotiating power with regards to migration or, even more substantially, fiscal space constraints. Can health systems in low-income countries be expected to do substantial changes out of political will, or should this issue be strongly linked to aid levels and fiscal space discussions (which were not prominent at the Forum)? Or can southern European Health Ministers truly invest in their health workforces in the frame of the constraints posed to them by the Fiscal Compact?” Giulia De Ponte, Amref Italy: A renewed agenda for HRH, with some grey areas,

Enjoy reading the full blog posts of my three colleagues in the HW4ALL project – and the current newsletter! Busy before our Brussels Network events, the “members' news” section is smaller than usual. Send us your news and updates until 15 December to be integrated in our last newsletter of this year!

Thomas Schwarz, Executive Secretary
Medicus Mundi International Network


MMI Network: Events and resources

Network events in Brussels
Where you will find us this week...

27 November 2013: MMI Assembly
with Board meeting and workshops

Extraordinary Assembly of the Medicus Mundi International Network, Board meeting  and two workshops (review of MMI Network Policy; results of Nicole Moran's work on a research toolbox for NGOs). All events are open for Network members and partners. Informal talks with our local host Memisa and a dinner for Network members and invited guests will complete the day. The full documentation is available now.

28 November 2013: Health-y answers to comple#ity:
Are we able to move beyond the control panel?

The seminar organized by Be-cause health will take place on 28 November at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. We are happy to offer to MMI Network members again a great opportunity for sharing and debating a key issue related to our work.

29 November 2013: Jubilee event
25 years of Memisa

MMI Network members have been kindly invited to this jubilee event of our Belgian Network member. Presentations are in French, Dutch and English, with possibility of simultaneous translation in the three languages as well.

Network news: Medicus Mundi Navarra
Transform Healthcare Systems In Latin America

At the beginning of October, Medicus Mundi Navarra presented a document entitled “Key Issues for the Transformation of Healthcare Systems in Latin America” to the European Parliament in Brussels. The delegation liaised with the European Commission, the European Parliament and CONCORD, as well as other European organisations, in order to present the document and the project itself which the European Commission is backing financially along with the Government of Navarre. It is the largest scale project that Medicus Mundi Navarra has promoted during its more than 40 years of existence. It could mean the implementation of a new way of understanding healthcare throughout a continent (Latin America) and even lay the foundations for a new version of Alma Ata considering the interest that it has generated on both sides of the Atlantic. The assessment of the tour has been very positive and both civil society as well as the different local, autonomous, state and international institutions have backed this initiative with consequences reaching far beyond the communities in which the pilot schemes are being tested.

Medicus Mundi Navarra is developing a tried-and-tested scheme for intercultural, comprehensive and inclusive healthcare in Guatemala, Bolivia and Peru which aims to change a large part of the continent’s healthcare systems to guarantee universal coverage for communities that are traditionally excluded. Its objective is to promote the transformation of healthcare systems throughout a continent into comprehensive, inclusive systems that are designed by everyone for everyone. Medicus Mundi Navarra started this joint initiative in April 2011, based on more than 10 years of experience in the three countries (Bolivia, Guatemala and Peru). By bringing together theory and practice, it aims to formulate the basic guidelines for what could be a valid healthcare system for a great part of Latin America. The work of our local offices and local partners in these countries, which are aligned and coordinated with the corresponding ministries and regional and local authorities, as well as the financial support of the European Commission, the Government of Navarra and other institutions, has ensured that now, three years on, there is a document based on tried-and-tested pilot schemes at the first level of care. The study has documented the lessons learnt in the process which have been validated in practice in three countries, and as such we believe it can be considered as a reference model in the area of health and cooperation. The timing is also important: Latin America, with its problems and difficulties, is taking the opposite path to many countries of the North, who are making cuts to public healthcare and causing exclusions. This action, on the other hand, supports the right to healthcare based on up-to-date, authentic primary healthcare which guarantees healthcare for every person, their family and their community.

More information:


International health and global health policy: MMI updates

Bits and pieces of news on international health policy: each “MMI update” is 140 characters or less - these are the rules of the game on Twitter. Just enough for a headline, eventually an author, a date, the source – and a link to the website where you find the full information. Have a look at some of our “tweets” published during the last month. As usual, it’s a bit much, so take it or leave it.


Inspirations in 140 characters:
Tweets of the Month

  • A development economist who does not understand complex adaptive systems is as much use as a biologist who does not understand evolution.” ‏@owenbarder
  • “The global political determinants of health are significant and understudied. Hopefully that will change soon.” ‏@MartenRobert
  • “It is unacceptable that increased access to diagnosis is not being matched by increased access to multidrug-resistant tuberculosis care” ‏@WHO
  • UHC movement might move on from calls for post2015 inclusion - it will be - and focus on funding, measures, targets and accountability. ‏@rasanathan


Universal health coverage
Health systems strengthening
Health services, health financing

MMI thematic guides:

See also below: Health beyond 2015
Twitter: #UHC


Health policy and systems research

MMI thematic guide:


Human resources for health
Migration of health professionals

MMI thematic guides:

Twitter: #HRH, #healthworkers #healthworkerscount, #3GFHRH


Access to medicines and vaccination
Medical research and development
Diseases and diseases control


Women’s and children’s health
Sexual and reproductive rights and health
(including related events)

MMI thematic guide:


Equity and human right to health
Social determinants of health
Poverty and social protection

MMI thematic guide:

Twitter: #SDH, #HIAP


Global health governance and policy

MMI thematic guide:

Twitter: #globalhealth #healthgovernance


World Health Organization
WHO reform and financing

MMI thematic guide


Health beyond 2015
MDGs and SDGs

MMI thematic guide:

Twitter: #health2015 #post2015 #globalhealth


Development, aid and international institutions


Global reports


Follow the MMI Updates on Twitter:


MMI Network News are edited and distributed by e-mail by the secretariat of Medicus Mundi International. Network members (only) are kindly invited to send us your contributions.

You can get the monthly MMI Network News by sending a simple "subscribe" message to the secretariat. Please conctact us also if you have received the newsletter by e-mail, but do not want to be included any more in our mailing list.

Follow the MMI Updates on Twitter:

Document Actions