New Generation of Global Health Leaders – Day 2 & 3

New Generation of Global Health Leaders – Day 2 & 3

It is hard to imagine that the pre-general assembly workshop on global health is already over! It has been three full days of sessions, activities, learning and sharing experiences. Day 2 focused on advocacy: we asked the participants to develop some talking points regarding a certain global issue; to prepare a 5 minutes objective presentation for the member states; and to draft a statement for a consultative session at the Global World Health Organization Simulation. Participants were given communication tricks on how to effectively write and deliver a statement. As a bonus, we had three parallel global health’s morning sessions: climate change, health equity and health economy.

Day 3 was my favorite so far I think: I got to witness our participants’ progression, as they acted as the civil society and they worked hard to influence the member states and to input the final resolution. We had recommendation to invest more in climate change and health research, to develop some mental health prevention policies and to ensure social floor protection. A group even managed to get United States agreed that universal health coverage should be a priority for the country!

I gave my participants a bit of time off in the afternoon, and I joined the presidents’ workshop for a fun plenary simulation, where I got to represent Romania and to cause a bit of trouble. I also gave a short training in the Projects workshop on IFMSA Initiatives, global health and advocacy work, as I am currently leading the IFMSA Think Global Initiative.

One of my highlight has been to meet some delegates from IFMSA-China. It was actually the first that I was really speaking with them. I gained a lot of valuable insight on the Chinese medical and health challenges. They were critical, aware of the current issues they were facing not only in the medical field but also on the global governance level. In China, you can either do your medical degree in five or eight years. You can also be trained to become a traditional medicine doctor, but that doesn’t give you the right to practice in the same hospitals. The clinics receive little funding from the government, and the doctors’ salary is really low. The medicines are at patients’ cost, and there is a lot of pressure from the pharmaceutical companies. Many medical students want to do their USLME to practice in the US, because the working conditions and the technology are better. There is also lack of doctor in rural areas, and if it was only their decision, they would increase the private practice to better serve the patients. That made little sense to me as the situation is quite the opposite in Quebec, but they explain that private practice could give them the liberty to work more in rural settings. Right after this animated discussion, the delegation from Portugal arrived and offered us some Porto. How could I say no?

As I am writing those lines, we are getting fully ready for the Opening night and for the first plenary. We are reading, analysing and discussing the latest documents. Photos will soon follow!

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