G7 Milan meeting: more health care for migrants

Health ministers meet in Milan.

Health ministers from the G7 states – Italy, France, Canada, Germany, the US, Japan and Great Britain – and officials from UN departments and leading NGOs meeting in Milan pledged this week to provide better health care and immunisation for migrants and refugees.

The closing joint statement pointed out that climate change and environmental factors “can aggravate existing health risks” and provoke new ones.  The public needs to be informed better about the impact of these factors on health, the ministers agreed.

The aim, said delegates, is to boost healthcare systems so that countries can provide universal coverage “without leaving anyone behind.”

At the close of the summit, Italian health minister Beatrice Lorenzin told media that “some common ground” had been found with the United States on climate change issues, even though the US recently announced it would pull out of the 2015 Paris Accord.  The US delegates, she said, “had accepted the impact of climate factors on human health.”

The World Health Organisation’s assistant director-general, Flavia Bustreo, also underlined that $3.4 bn. had been pledged to the Global Financing Facility fund, aimed at "implementing and improving the health" of women and children "by promoting global strategies".