Universal Health Coverage, complexity,
and a birthday…

Dear Network Members,

For its 50th anniversary in 2013 Medicus Mundi International had deliberately decided not to make a big splash, but to celebrate it quietly in the logic of our network that is to keep our member organization in the centre. It was therefore a very nice opportunity to celebrate in Barcelona, in June 2013, with one of our key members, MM Spain, which is of the same – excellent – vintage as MMI.

Last year a main topic of MMI was the review of the current strategy. The review report did not generate concrete new ideas for our Network strategy 2015+. However it drew our attention to the fact that certain core elements of our identity – such as being a Network of independent members and focusing on joint advocacy at a global level – need to be re-confirmed before we can go ahead. We therefore revised the MMI Network policy and adapted our statutes and regulations. All this is now ready for consideration and hopefully adoption by our General Assembly in Château de Bossey. At the same time we expect the Assembly to be a milestone for the development of the MMI Network strategy 2015+ in terms of content definition. To initiate and stimulate the discussion we will draw on the inputs and views from external advisors and sister networks.

As for the strategy the Board decided that there is no need “to chase another pig through the village.” This German expression, meaning pushing a new cause before finishing an old one, applies quite well for the situation of MMI, as we do not intend to develop a new strategy from scratch. It is quite obvious that international cooperation in health care including health systems, global health policy and joint advocacy will be at the core. Grounds for these themes have been laid within the current strategy and we can and should build on. Certainly we will have to put more emphasis on the monitoring and evaluation of expected outputs.

To address the sustainability of the Network will be key. Last year we have lost two long term members, Misereor from Germany and Fatebenefratteli from Italy. The reasons are different, partly explained by the fact that health is going down on the agenda of a number of organizations, but perhaps partly also due the fact that the orientation towards global advocacy of MMI did not meet the expectations of these organizations for a network organization like ours any more. Although this a normal development in a living network, where some leave and others join, we have to be attentive. A broadened, but also stable membership basis is vital. In the first place in terms of contributing to the discussions and the development of joint positions, but also for securing the financial sustainability of the MMI Network which, as we all know, depends entirely on the membership contributions.

The year 2013 saw also the re-emergence of the membership fee discussion. Reflecting the difficult economic environment and based on a Assembly decision to introduce two standard classes of membership fees, a number of member organizations announced, for the years to come, to reduce their contributions to the standard fee. This will lead to a tangible loss of income. On the positive side this sensitive topic has now been hopefully settled for some time to come and more importantly we have now clear reference figures, which will facilitate the recruitment of new member organizations.

Another highlight of the past year was one more successful Network meeting in Brussels, where “complexity” was the topic. The meeting was – as usual – very well organized by our local partners. It showed one of the key strengths of the Network, where like-minded organizations can meet and exchange. It was also good to have the opportunity to join in Memisa for its 25th years anniversary meeting. Our host provided an excellent example of how an organization is going strong and has been able to adapt to a changing environment.

In Brussels we started the discussion of having a Network meeting for the first time outside Europe. Although it has not worked out for 2014, the interest has been confirmed and will be followed up. In autum 2014 Medicus Mundi Switzerland will host the annual Network meeting and link it to a symposium on the very relevant topic of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

Led by our dynamic secretariat, our input into the global discussion on Human Resources for Health, global health governance and health policy have continued and are well recognized. Looking back on a successful 2013 we can be confident for the future.

Nicolaus Lorenz, President

MMI Network: Annual report

  • Message from the President
  • Plans, progress and perspectives
  • Basel – Barcelona – Brussels
  • Financial facts and figures
  • Network members

Members of the MMI Network: “short stories”

Download the Annual Report

  • MMI Annual Report 2013, 43 pages light online version (PDF, 4MB): Download
  • Order the print version (PDF, 20 MB)at the secretariat!