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International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA)

December 12, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the real situation of Health Systems worldwide and made it clear for everyone the big effect of UHC and resilient Health Systems on the response to pandemics and crises. We would like to invite IFMSA members to share the responses of their national Health Systems to the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of an article. The article should describe only real stories.
The best stories will be presented and discussed with other IFMSA members and external partners during a panel discussion. The aim is to initiate a conversation about the different health systems worldwide, their responses to the pandemic, and highlight the role of UHC , Health Systems Strengthening and preparedness in such situations.

The role of medical students in achieving Universal Health Coverage is now more important than ever, with the extraordinary momentum that COVID-19 provided. IFMSA through the Team of Officials and the National Member Organizations has been advocating for this topic for many years now. However, many obstacles slow down these efforts. Lots of medical students are either unaware of the importance of this topic or unable to implement their ideas because of limited resources and finances.
Through the World UHC Competition, we would like to bridge some of these gaps, shed light on this important topic and motivate more National Member Organizations (NMOs) to advocate for UHC on the local and national levels. The winner will receive 250 Euros.

We also intend to develop a platform as an incentive for IFMSA members and NMOs to share their initiatives on UHC.

On top of that, we aim to bring closer real UHC advocacy experiences from countries and organizations to the IFMSA members through an online panel session. The first part of the event will be in the form of a few presentations from IFMSA members about the way their national Health Systems responded to COVID-19 and their reflection on the overall health situation in the country. The presentations will be followed by the panel where the moderator will call for interventions from the other panelists highlighting the potential causes for each case and the methodologies that could improve the situation of the unprivileged case and sustain the fortunate cases.
At the end of the panel, the floor will be given for attendees to ask any questions or share any other reflections they have.