The 2nd International Health Convention Cuba, Salud 2015, with 1,500 delegates from 73 nations in attendance, concluded April 24 in Havana, with calls to immediately and effectively address the need for universal healthcare
The 2nd International Health Convention Cuba, Salud 2015, which brought together 51 delegations – 30 led by Health Ministers – concluded April 24, with calls to immediately and effectively address the need for universal healthcare. Speaking to the 1,500 delegates from 73 nations, Dr. José Ángel Portal, Cuban deputy minister of Public Health, noted that over the convention’s five days the group had discussed “current and future challenges for the sector in our countries, with an emphasis on the needs which the world today faces.”
He recalled that, under the banner of Health for All – Universal Healthcare, those attending the event, held at Havana’s Convention Center, analyzed current public policies, programs, strategies, organizational structures and finances which support health care, and the implications these have for essential medical services.
Portal noted that of special interest were the plenary sessions devoted to four priority issues: South-South medical cooperation; access to universal healthcare; social factors and equity; as well as professional training, research and innovation.
During the discussion, participants insisted on the necessity of attaining universal healthcare availability, at a time when there are millions of persons who cannot access comprehensive services to allow for a healthy life, prevent disease or receive medical assistance.
Dr. Portal commented the year 2015 has arrived, and few of the Millennium Development Goals for 2000 have been met, while the world faces more difficult challenges today than it did at the outset of the century.
The new agenda must offer solutions to the world economy’s structural problems; undertake changes needed to support sustainable development; and is obliged to have healthcare as a focus, since it is an unalienable right of all citizens on the planet, he insisted.
In the name of delegations from abroad, Dr. Amina Nurhussein, Eritrea’s minister of Health, said she considered the convention a success, and the discussion productive, useful to the process of developing public health systems in participants’ respective countries.
She praised the Cuban experience in the area of public health, and described the country’s system as a model for the peoples of the world.
The convention included panel discussions and lectures, allowing for interaction between specialists, Cuban entities and exhibitors; the exchange of knowledge regarding new technology; and the signing of contracts for the acquisition of health care products.
Among the important parallel events was the exposition fair “Salud para Todos” (Health for All) at the Pabexpo fairgrounds, with the participation of 30 countries, and 197 companies, of these 154 from abroad.
Attending the closing session were José Ramón Balaguer, member of the Party Central Committee’s secretariat and head of its international relations department, and Minister of Public Health Roberto Morales Ojeda, also a member of the Central Committee.
The next Health International Convention and Health for All Fair were scheduled for April of 2018.
Author: Iris de Armas Padrino, Granma
April 28, 2015