26/27 October 2010 in Geneva
Following the successful launch of the Anglican Health Network in June 2009, a group of 10 participants gathered at the end of October in Geneva to consider progress. The membership of the network has grown from 80 to over 250 in that time. Drawn from over 40 countries and a range of ministries and disciplines represented, the network has a vibrant community now to engage with and support.
High on the agenda was the health microinsurance programme. The pilots in India and Tanzania are starting to yield results and lessons. Over 40,000 people were drawn into the project in South Kerala. 21 parishes in Dar es Salaam are now participating in marketing the 'Imani' ('faith' in Swahili) health policy during October and November.
The rationale behind these pilots are two-fold:
These aims are critical to the future of Anglican health care. Those on low incomes have seen their health decline because they cannot afford to pay for treatments when they need them. Health microinsurance leverages the skills of the private insurance sector to harness the pooled resources of local communities. Families who take the insurance know exactly how much they will spend on health care in a given year and are assured that they can access health services without any further pressure on their limited budgets. Thus they access treatments more often and more swiftly. Anglican hospitals and clinics see demand for their serves rise and are assured of a more sustainable income for their work.
The advisory council reviewed the continuing challenges to make this arrangement work. It also considered other priorities that will allow health programmes to prosper. These include a proposal to transfer surplus medical equipment from hospitals in the United States, a programme of clinical and management education, and the overwhelming demand for capital investment.
The council mandated the Coordinating Board of AHN to develop systems for both supply and demand of medical equipment, and to pursue opportunities for academic courses and professional exchanges to improve skills and competencies amongst Anglican health providers. Whilst it recognised the urgent need for capital investment, AHN has yet to see an effective way forward. It will keep this matter under review.
The advisory council also clarified its view that primary care and clinical care are mutually interdependent. Anglicans are active in both - both have much to offer. Any health programme needs to promote health enhancing behaviours within communities, but people everywhere also need skilled clinical support. The Coordinating Board will continue to seek out best practice around the communion so that the skills of each sector can be leveraged to bring improved health outcomes not just for certain individuals, but for communities as a whole.
The following were present for the meeting:
Members of the Coordinating Board of the Anglican Health Network:
Geoff Senogles (Director of Finance), Allison Kelley (Consultant)
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