Systems matter: Clinton

Bill Clinton has finally been persuaded that investment in health systems is more important than funding “vertical” initiatives for particular diseases:

“That’s increasingly in the last few years what our foundation has been focused on – what is the most cost-effective way to mobilise a national health system,” Mr Clinton said.

“You can get the universal treatment – the money’s there now, if we spend it most effectively.”

“But we don’t have the health care systems to reach out to people, get them tested and diagnosed in a timely fashion, get them on treatment and do the regular follow-ups.”

Well good. This is what the aid experts have been saying for years. It is why many of us opposed the establishment of funds like the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria and PEPFAR in the first place. But politicians like to announce things that they think their public will understand, and big disease-specific initiatives are the kind of thing that seems to fit the bill.

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