Resilient health systems needed: Doctor Lalabalavu

May 22, 2023 5:43 am

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

The Health Minister has called on the Commonwealth to support its efforts in the World Health Assembly to establish a Voluntary Health Fund for Small Island Developing States aimed at the effective and meaningful engagement of SIDS in meetings of the World Health Organization.

This includes efforts towards building resilient health systems for the protection and promotion of the health of all people.

Doctor Atonio Lalabalavu highlighted this during the 8th edition of the World Heart Summit which took place in Geneva, Switzerland ahead of the 76th World Health Assembly.

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The Health Minister joined Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland and Health Ministers from across the Commonwealth for the 35th Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting on the eve of the 76th World Health Assembly.

[Source: Fiji Government/ Facebook]

The Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting focused on accelerating efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage, while recognizing the challenges faced by the Commonwealth on inequities of access to quality and affordable health services, which has been exposed and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commonwealth Health Ministers also discussed the need to increase investment in health, including human resourcing, to strengthen the resilience of their health systems.

Doctor Lalabalavu spoke on Fiji’s Universal Health Coverage ambitions, with primary health care being one of its key drivers towards achieving Fiji’s ambitions.

He also highlighted some of the challenges associated with the surge in attrition rate for health care workers leaving health systems and the rising cost of the supply chain for medicines, medical supplies and medical equipment.

He informed the Commonwealth that these challenges, which were shared across the Commonwealth, continue to affect health systems and increases out of pocket costs for health service.

The CHMM also discussed opportunities and challenges relating to national and subnational capacity and capabilities for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, including through investing in equitable local manufacturing of health products and technologies.