Physically challenged legislator seeks hike in healthcare budget allocation
April 08 2019 11:29 PM
Swiss Parliamentarian Christian Lohr at the the ongoing 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in
Swiss Parliamentarian Christian Lohr at the the ongoing 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Doha. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil

A physically challenged member of Swiss Parliament, the Federal Assembly, has advocated for an increase in budget allocation on healthcare and universal health coverage.

Christian Lohr was speaking to Gulf Times on Monday on the sidelines of the ongoing 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly at Sheraton Doha.

“Parliaments around the world should work on increasing the amount of money allocated for healthcare in their countries. I am working on a resolution for universal health coverage for everybody,” he explained.

Lohr, a member of Swiss Parliament for the last seven and half years as well as a member of the committee on health and social security, also pointed out that people with disabilities should be given equal opportunities and increased healthcare budget allocation is one way of empowering them.

“Through higher budget allocation for healthcare, I want to bring more empowerment for people and what they can do for their own health. I am also advocating for bigger budget allocation in parliaments for health awareness programmes. The current health budget allocation in healthcare is insufficient for these purposes and there should be an increase. It is absolutely important to provide health coverage for everyone,” explained Lohr.

The legislator said that allocating more money can empower the population in different ways. “The awareness programmes will help people to take care of their own bodies and other needs. It is the duty of the governments as well as people to take care of the health and therefore we need more empowerment of the people in this topic,” he added.

“I always look into my own physical situation and feel that people with disabilities should be given more importance in healthcare. I am a living example of physically challenged group of people and I want to make sure that such people are empowered and given more opportunities with better health,” he noted.

The official described that all human beings including disabled people should be given same opportunities and for this they must get adequate healthcare. “They should be treated with equality and dignity and healthcare for them is an important component in this regard. It is the duty of parliamentarians and governments to make sure that inclusive opportunities are given to everyone,” felt Lohr.

He also said that it was important to get a mix of people of all ages and different genders in parliaments so that aspirations of all the segments of societies are reflected in the highest decision-making bodies.

“ Politicians have the habit of keeping topics for discussion for very long period without taking appropriate decisions. This should be avoided. Parliamentarians should make sure that appropriate decisions are adopted at the earliest,” he added.

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