Medical oxygen is essential for every health system. Not only is it a life-saving treatment for those suffering from COVID-19, but for a plethora of patients spanning the entire life course. The pandemic revealed and further exacerbated major preexisting shortages and inequity in access to medical oxygen in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). This has led to significant progress over the last few years in terms of funding and supply by medical gas companies in LMICs.
However, this progress has been concentrated on emergency management and driven by donor funding. Access to medical oxygen needs to remain a priority, with a shift in focus to long-term solutions. This is critical to reduce the number of preventable deaths in LMICs and, consequently, enable the attainment of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage.
This Chatham House and Access to Medicine Foundation roundtable will bring stakeholders together to discuss these innovative approaches to access by providing a forum to share best practices, establish consensus on long-term priorities and solutions, define actions that need to be taken by liquid medical oxygen (LOX) companies and other partners, as well as methods to track progress.
This roundtable will discuss:
• What is the role of medical gas companies, global health agencies and funders in expanding access to LOX in LMICs?
• What models for increasing access does the pharmaceutical industry apply that might be useful for medical oxygen companies to emulate?
• What concrete actions can medical gas companies take to support health systems strengthening?