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The new trade bloc's possible impact on the health of over 1 billion Africans has barely been discussed.Given the experience of other free-trade blocs, however, the pact raises concerns about the weakening of government-funded public-health systems, increasingly unequal access to care, a medical brain drain, higher drug prices, increased consumption of unhealthy products and the spread of diseases. African governments should act immediately to assess these threats and counter the AfCFTA's potential negative health implications.As is true of other trade pacts, the AfCFTA free-movement rules will allow people to access government-funded health services in any member country. Private health services and medical tourism induce clinicians to migrate from poorer to richer countries, and from public to private health care. This results in weaker, understaffed public-health systems, especially in poorer countries. Such a system would compensate host countries for the government-provided health services used by foreigners.Its possible negative impact on Africans' health should not be ignored.
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