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Developing nations urged to invest

Subject: Developing nations urged to invest in social sector

                                       November 17, 1998 
               HEALTH CONFERENCE

 Developing nations
 urged to invest in
 social sector

 Tailor spending to the poor, says Anand

 Aphaluck Bhatiasevi

 Developing countries, including Thailand, should allocate at least 20
 percent of their spending to the social sector despite economic
 problems, said former prime minister Anand Panyarachun.

 He yesterday told over 300 participants attending an international
 health conference that spending needed to have a bais towards the
 poor majority. The former PM said although many countries spent 20
 percent of government budgets on health, education, water supplies
 and sanitation, no developing country or donor had spent as high a
 percentage when using money borrowed from abroad. 

 Mr Anand, who is also Thailand's Ambassador to the Unicef, said if
 this money was to be better targeted then recipients and donors should
 take the initiative.

 "I see that some major objectives such as Aids prevention and care or
 the ending of trafficking of women and children, also deserve special
 national or even regional plans, endorsed at the highest political level,"
 he said.

 He added that it was necessary to harmonise contributions from the
 government, the private sector, and NGOs.

 And he said it was necessary to invest more in health research, saying
 that although developing countries accounted for 90 percent of the
 world's burden of illness and disability, "excluding Aids research, only
 five percent of the global health expenditures on health research is
 devoted to the health problems of developing countries".

 Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, who attended the opening of the
 conference on Sunday, said the authorities concerned would have to
 come up with a new way of managing people in the health sector.

 He said that although health personnel were scattered across the
 country, most doctors were based in the metropolis.

 "Personally, I always say that, as a prime minister, I cannot make
 everybody equally rich, but I will try, by all means, to make all people
 - rich or poor - equal before the law. I should now add: equal in the
 right to health," said Mr Chuan.

 The "Global Public Health Perspective: Challenges for the Future"
 conference was organised by Mahidol University in Bangkok.



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 Last Modified: Tue, Nov 17, 1998
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