Donor nations are being urged to take advantage of Myanmar’s reforms, and some eased sanctions, to inject cash into its ailing public health services.
However, there are fears the reverberations of the global economic crisis may mean donors are reluctant to reach for their wallets.
Whatever the amount offered, NGOs want Myanmar to completely rethink its health system.
Under the junta, NGOs were banned from public hospitals and in effect ran a parallel health service, but now they are calling for closer cooperation with the government to extend the reach of healthcare.
“We need to start thinking about a long-term health system where we can all work together,” de Groote said.
In the meantime, many among Myanmar’s impoverished population will continue to rely on foreign NGOs for help.