Intended for healthcare professionals


Don’t abandon Labour’s initiative to improve access to health care for world’s poor people, charities urge

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 14 June 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c3153
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

    Last week the United Kingdom’s new secretary of state for international development, Andrew Mitchell, announced “a fundamental change in direction” in aid spending, with a new emphasis on “transparency, accountability, responsibility, fairness, and empowerment.”

    The announcement has been welcomed by most development charities, and Mr Mitchell’s subsequent decision to review Britain’s existing commitments to all multilateral institutions—including the World Health Organization and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria—has been greeted with cautious support.

    However, charities have expressed concern for the fate of the newly established Centre for Progressive Health Financing, which aims to support poor countries to achieve universal access to health care and which is hosted by the UK Department for International Development (

    A group of charities, including Save the Children, Oxfam, and the maternal health charity Interact, has written to Mr Mitchell urging that his department continue to support the new centre, established in March by the previous government.

    Mr Mitchell announced his review at the launch of Oxfam’s new report, 21st Century Aid, on 3 June at the Royal Society. He said: “Development is good for our economy, our safety, …

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