Israeli WMA president warns of economic crisis's impact on health

Meltdown likely to increase gaps in medical care between the poor and the wealthy, according to Dr. Yoram Blachar.

November 4, 2008 21:53
1 minute read.
Israeli WMA president warns of economic crisis's impact on health

yoram blachar 88. (photo credit: )


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The world financial crisis is likely to increase the gaps in medical care between the poor and the wealthy, Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Yoram Blachar said this week after taking office as president of the World Medical Association. He added that the shortage in medical manpower was likely to worsen in the foreseeable future. Blachar, who was speaking at the WMA plenum in Seoul for the first time as the organization's president, said the growing inequities in the world's healthcare systems would be high on the organization's agenda during his tenure. The WMA, established in 1947, is an umbrella body for most of the national medical associations around the globe. It set down the Helsinki Declaration of ethical principles for the medical community regarding human experimentation and the general medical ethical code recognized worldwide. Medical costs were increasingly being shunted by governments to individual's pockets, Blachar said. "Those who can afford to purchase privately what their governments do not supply will get excellent and updated care. The rest will get medical services at a lower level [or not at all] depending on their ability to pay." He predicted a growing shortage of doctors not only in the Third World but in the industrialized countries as well. Rising life expectancies demanded more doctors, and the increased sophistication and technical abilities required by doctors made the provision of care more complicated, Blachar said.

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