“The Swisscross Foundation wants to get the topic of: “protection of humanitarian medical assitance” on the agenda of governments and international humanitarian organisations”. This efforts should result in active steps taken towards preventing security incidents in the future and to improve access and quality of health care services for patients desperately in need and a safe working environment for the medical personnel involved.
The safety of healthcare personnel deployed in crisis and conflict situations has deteriorated significantly over the last decade. Violence disrupts healthcare services when they are needed most.
Attacks on patients, healthcare workers and hospitals are a growing concern in armed conflicts and other emergencies when patients, healthcare facilities and personnel and ambulances are either deliberately or accidentally attacked, injured or killed.
The secondary effects of violence are of major concern when for example doctors and nurses are forced to flee, vaccinations and other essential healthcare programs come to a halt and hospitals run out of supplies, water and electricity. Access to life saving procedures cannot be guaranteed anymore under these circumstances. The disruption of healthcare services has a devastating and long-lasting impact on the availability of healthcare for the sick and wounded, the local community in general and their future wellbeing.