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May 31, 2006

Regional health officials meet to discuss patient care

Story PictureThis week national health officials are also meeting with their counterparts to discuss the state of the region’s preparedness to provide adequate medical care to its citizens. The experts are reviewing current protocols and procedures in order to make services affordable and accessible. Acting Deputy Director of Health Dr. Paul Edwards explains how the conference will change medical care in Belize.

Dr. Paul Edwards, Acting Deputy Director of Health, Ministry of Health
?The Ministry of Health, Belize in collaboration with PAHO are conducting a three day seminar starting today and it continues to Thursday, whereby we are looking at how to strengthen the health system. A critical component of that is actually monitoring health system changes and health sector reform. We are all cognizant of the fact that specifically in Belize we started health sector reform in 1996. That has been something that has been going on through out the Caribbean in many of those countries. So we ask ourselves those critical questions and examine the guiding principles of health sector reform.?

?So this is very opportune for us, whereby we?ll be able to identify even more so those gaps for data collection and how we will work in collaboration with other key organisations in Belize. For example, Central Statistical Office, the Ministry of National Development, the Ministry of Finance because all those critical information are needed to develop the health system profile for Belize.?

Dr. Eduardo Levcovitz, Unit Chief for Health Systems, PAHO Headquarters
?We?ve just started in 2005 a new wave of preparing health system profiles for all the countries in the region. This is a specific meeting for the English speaking Caribbean and Canada and mostly people are talking about their experiences, their first country profiles, is what?s happening just now and from tomorrow on; we will be planning what to do to prepare the new country profiles we expect to have in place by the end of the year.?

According to the latest PAHO statistics, there is an estimated one hundred and twenty five million people in the region who do not have access to adequate or affordable health care.

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