International Community Must Work Together To Protect Health Care In Conflict Situations

The Lancet: Protecting health care in armed conflict: action towards accountability
Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s minster of health, and colleagues

“…Global attention to unlawful attacks on health care, including reporting on incidents and identification of the long-term consequences for the civilian population and the health care systems of affected countries, has grown recently. But this attention has yet to translate into effective protection of health care on the ground. … Critical as they are, accountability efforts need to be complemented by other actions that mobilize new partnerships and provide needed support to health providers facing the unimaginable burden of coping with violations [of international humanitarian law (IHL)]. … We must not be complacent; attacks on health care must not become the new global norm in armed conflict. We need to work together to ensure that IHL is upheld, health care is protected, affected populations are supported, and accountability for any such violations is pursued” (4/14).