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Global call for universal free healthcare

More than 60 organisations are urging world leaders to help save lives in the developing world by improving access to free healthcare.

While migrant workers living in the third world may have the protection of expatriate health insurance, the Your Money or Your Life report says millions of natives are dying due to inadequate healthcare.

The research details how many around the world are subject to abuses, such as imprisonment in doctor’s surgeries for being unable to pay medical bills.

Release of the report comes ahead of a United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 23rd, where leaders are expected to extend free healthcare in at least seven countries – Burundi, Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal and Sierra Leone.

However, the 62 organisations behind the study think that this will be insufficient and are asking for further commitments to ensure the move is sustainable.

One key recommendation is for wealthier countries to guarantee long-term funding and technical support.

Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking said: "How many lives will be needlessly lost before leaders act?

"Poor people simply cannot afford fees and inaction will continue to deny access to life-saving healthcare for millions."

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