Canada helps advance G7 global health commitments

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Now, more than ever, countries need resilient, sustainable and equitable health systems in order to protect the health of not only their citizens, but people around the world.

This past week, Canada participated in the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting (HMM) in Kobe, Japan, where discussions focused on concrete actions to advance global health. The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, and Dr. Gregory Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer, shared Canada’s perspectives with health leaders from other G7 countries and international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), on actions to advance the health commitments endorsed by G7 Leaders earlier this year. Discussions focused on reinforcing the global health architecture for health emergencies, combatting antimicrobial resistance (AMR), encouraging research and development, and attaining universal health coverage.

Philpott said: “Poor health anywhere in the world is a threat to wellness everywhere. That’s why meetings such as the G7 HMM are essential to help direct effective, coordinated action to address global health challenges. I am proud to have represented Canada in these fruitful discussions and look forward watching our collective efforts make real strides in improving global health.”

Responsive health systems

Mr Taylor said: “Sustainable, responsive health systems are at the heart of any solutions to today’s pressing global health challenges. G7 countries have an important role to play in helping all countries strengthen their capacities to respond to public health emergencies, offer equitable and quality health services to their populations, and address antimicrobial resistance. Canada will continue to work with the international community to strengthen global health.”

Ministers considered how countries can help strengthen existing organizations, including the WHO’s central role in enabling and supporting timely, coordinated and effective responses to global public health emergencies. Health leaders also discussed how to build upon and leverage countries’ previous commitments and actions on AMR and implement a coordinated, multi-sectoral One Health approach that takes into account people, animals and the environment. They also explored how G7 countries can promote greater sharing and coordination of research and development without duplicating resources. The final session focused on the importance of universal health coverage in ensuring people have access to the health services and support they need to protect and improve the health of all individuals — in particular, those of an ageing population.

Minister Philpott confirmed Canada’s support for actions that will help meet these global health commitments and reinforced some of the actions Canada is already taking that will contribute to strengthening emergency health responses, addressing the challenge of AMR and supporting sustainable, resilient and inclusive health systems. She also reiterated Canada’s support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in advance of this week’s replenishment conference, September 16-17, 2016, in Montréal.

The G7 HMM offered opportunities for Minister Philpott and Dr. Taylor to hold additional meetings with colleagues from Japan, France, Germany and the U.K. to discuss shared health priorities, exchange experiences and discuss opportunities for collaboration in areas such as dementia, medical marijuana and childhood obesity. – CNW

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