Program Coordinator: Christina Kefalidi
Contact us: [email protected]
A health system comprises all organizations, institutions, and resources (elements) that are devoted to producing health actions. The intrinsic goal of a health system is to protect and improve the health of the people. In addition to patients, families, communities, Ministries of Health, health providers (traditional and biomedical), health services organizations, pharmaceutical companies, health financing bodies, and other organizations play important roles. In health systems, many parts operate at many levels to provide coherence at community and national level.
For many years health has been siloed into specific areas of concern (maternal health, HIV/AIDS etc.). We’ve seen great achievements in some areas, while other areas have been neglected. To change this path a more holistic approach to health systems need to be obtained. This program is therefore not topic-specific in its objectives but includes activities that focus on parts of the system rather than the diseases. The core challenge is to develop health systems that are able to reach out to rural, vulnerable and poor populations with basic quality health care addressing acute as well as chronic diseases and that are able to respond to health-related disasters, as seen with Ebola, tsunamis etc.
Health systems worldwide face various challenges; the budget is substantially low, the quality is insufficient, the medicine and equipment are too few and too expensive. Actions conducted by medical students are needed to counter these issues. Know-how on topics like Trade and Health or Access to Medicines and Surgery as well as rural health, traditional medicine and Universal Health Coverage is scattered to a significant degree within IFMSA. Also, educational activities as WHO simulations, teaching students about health policy processes, lobbyism, and global health governance are important activities to ensure medical students are equipped with the skills to advocate and fight for stronger health systems. With this program, we aim to group IFMSA’s activities and encourage further actions in this field.