Equal access to health resources for all countries around the world, regardless of their smallness, was the main message delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne during several health meetings organized by the United Nations (UN) as part of the program of the General Assembly of the same international organization.
In front of the Ministers of Health and the Ambassadors of the Member States, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne mentioned the challenges of small countries, such as Malta, in areas such as access to effective medicines, where he used this international platforms to share solutions that can overcome these challenges.
Minister Fearne called for new systems for the purchase of medicines and their distribution around the world, both innovative ones and also for established medicines, which currently patients from small markets, or economically not strong, find it difficult to access. He spoke about the initiative that our country is taking on the European scene, where through a system of electronic tables in all the languages of the European Union, the language challenge can be solved once and for all.
Minister Fearne therefore appealed to the international regulators in the fields of medicines to invest in similar initiatives, thus improving access to medicines throughout the world. As Maltese Minister of Health, but also as the President of the World Health Assembly (WHO), Minister Fearne also spoke about the impact on health systems that are left behind by realities such as wars, change in the climate and also the increase in antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Faced with these realities, he appealed for strong leadership in the health fields, “Countries all over the world must be ready to cooperate and coordinate among themselves to be prepared for these challenges, and even prevent them where we can , because as we saw during the pandemic, a strange virus in one country or continent can affect the whole world.”
During his visit to New York, the Deputy Prime Minister was also invited to lead several prominent meetings, among others on the necessary investment in health systems after the pandemic, as well as representing the European Member States during a discussion of the United Nations on the fight against tuberculosis.
On the margins of the General Assembly of the United Nations, on Tuesday the Deputy Prime Minister attended an event organized by the President of the United States, in light of the fact that Prime Minister Robert Abela was still busy with work in Malta. Minister Chris Fearne also had a series of bilateral meetings with Ministers of Health of the Netherlands, Estonia, Denmark, Sweden and the Maldives, as well as with the President of the UN General Assembly , Dennis Francis.
Photos: ODPM-MFH, DOI