Improving healthcare for all
France Unveils New Global Health Strategy Advocating Access to Quality Healthcare for All

France Unveils New Global Health Strategy Advocating Access to Quality Healthcare for All

On 12 October 2023 in Lyon, representatives from three ministries presented the policy and action framework for all French stakeholders in global health for the 2023-2027 period.

France Unveils New Global Health Strategy Advocating Access to Quality Healthcare for All
5 Dec 2023

The head of French diplomacy, Catherine Colonna, health minister Aurélien Rousseau, and research minister Sylvie Retailleau, and their teams, have been working on the development of a new roadmap over the last year. The new strategy was jointly presented at the premises of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in the presence of the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“This roadmap aims to provide concrete solutions to global health challenges that demand a coordinated international response, built on solidarity, cooperation, transparency, and science,” Catherine Colonna, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs.

It will focus on 5 key areas:

  • Contributing to meeting sustainable development goals, particularly SDG3 (United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, specifically ensuring good health and well-being for all).
  • Reducing health inequalities by addressing all social and environmental elements.
  • Strengthening the ‘One Health’ approach (the interdependent health of people, animals and ecosystems) to better prevent and prepare for future global health crises and emergencies.
  • Considering the consequences of climate change on health and the environmental impact of healthcare systems.
  • Promoting French values, expertise, research, know-how, innovations, and partnerships.

“This collective awareness of the multilateral nature of health risks, heightened by our experience of Covid-19, should be an opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen our global health action, in a positive and ambitious way”, Aurélien Rousseau, French Health Minister

To counter inequalities in access to healthcare, which became glaringly apparent during the Covid crisis, France is taking action to help people in the world’s most vulnerable countries gain access to decent healthcare services. For example, international research and training agreements have already been signed with Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In addition, the international PREZODE (Preventing Zoonotic Disease Emergence) initiative is one of the actions stemming from the “One Health” approach. Launched in January 2021 at the instigation of President Emmanuel Macron, it encourages cooperation of governments, research institutes, foundations and associations and promotes prevention, early detection and surveillance, to reduce the risk of infectious diseases emerging from animal origins.

Leading European investor in multilateral funds

For the 2023-2025 period, France is also increasing its contribution to multilateral funds (the fight against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis), Unitaid (a global organization for the purchase of health products) and Gavi (immunizing children in developing countries), by a third taking it to €2 billion compared with €1.5 billion in 2020-2022. France has invested more than €10 billion in these funds since they were set up. It is therefore the most significant contributor at European level.

The presentation of this new global health strategy was also an opportunity to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO). Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, paid tribute to the key role France has played, recalling that it was “one of the founding members of the WHO in 1948 and a loyal supporter for the past 75 years”. France’s approach is in line with the WHO’s objectives to “promote health, provide health services, protect the population and ensure progress and efficiency in health care”. A WHO Academy is set to open in Lyon in fall 2024. It will provide training for health professionals from all over the world.

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