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grupo del dept de sistemas y servicios de salud de la OPS 2019

Washington, DC, 19 June 2019 (PAHO/WHO) - //Experts from the Department of Health Systems and Services of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) met in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, from 11 to 13 June, to consolidate PAHO's processes for technical cooperation toward Universal Health.

Five years after the PAHO Member States approved the Strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage (Universal Health), and within the framework of the milestones achieved since then, 82 specialists from 26 PAHO countries offices in the Americas discussed the challenges and opportunities related to the achievement of universal health in the Region.

The Director of PAHO/WHO, Carissa F. Etienne, chaired the opening of the event, together with James Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Health Systems and Services, and Alma Morales, PAHO/WHO Representative in the Dominican Republic. During her speech, Dr. Etienne emphasized PAHO´s commitment to promoting concrete actions to advance towards universal health and called for reflection on the three strategic areas of the Regional Compact on Primary Health Care for Universal Health 2030.

The Director mentioned the need to work innovatively and to continue to build the expertise so that countries receive support. "We have the knowledge, and we know how to make it available for countries," said Carissa Etienne. "PAHO is going through new times now, and we have the opportunity to create impact so that people can be architects of their own health." Etienne also recalled that public health is the center of PAHO's work, and since there are new challenges in this area, the Essential Public Health Functions must be understood and present in the daily work of the Organization.

Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, Assistant Director of PAHO/WHO, presented the vision of public health in the Region of the Americas and emphasized the need to strengthen public health functions.

"This is an excellent space to work as a team and develop concrete proposals to make solid, appropriate and adequate decisions to support countries in the development of models of care based on Primary Health Care," said James Fitzgerald. "During the last two years, 18 countries of the Region have initiated or strengthened the transformation processes based on PAHO Strategy for Universal Health. Therefore, technical cooperation in supporting these processes is a priority for the Department and the Organization, and it needs the commitment and leadership of all of us," added Fitzgerald.

During the three days of work, the participants discussed the following topics: the report of the High-level Commission Universal Health in the XXI Century: 40 years of Alma-Ata, the Regional Compact on Primary Health Care for Universal Health 2030, efficiency in the investment of medicines and other health technologies for health expenditure control, Plan of Action on Human Resources for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage 2018-2023, building the 21st-century workforce for universal health, and the revision of the Essential Public Health Functions.