Stakeholders discuss strengthening health systems in Caribbean
Health strengthening will be the main focus on Wednesday as some 60 delegates from 12 CARICOM countries take part in the first Caribbean Civil Society Health Systems Strengthening Meeting (CCSHSSM) here in Dominica.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Fort Young Hotel on Wednesday morning, President of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), Sir Trevor Hassell, says the aim of the meeting is to consider the matter of strengthening health systems in the region.
“The purpose of the meeting, as the title suggests, is to consider the issue of the strengthening health systems in a forum, in which I believe for the first time in the Caribbean several stakeholders have been brought together to discuss the issue and contribute to the dialogue and process of strengthening health systems and by extension the delivery of health care for the people of the region,” he said.
He continued, “this meeting in many respects is unique because it brings together several stakeholders to discuss how we in the Caribbean might better provide health care for our people particularly around the issue of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD)’s. And we would suggest in fact that this model is one that might be considered as we look to other disciplines and other areas in health care.”
Representatives from Bahamas in the north to Guyana in the south in the areas of Academia, Finance, Insurance, Medical Associations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)’s, Pharmaceutical Industries, and the CARICOM Secretariat, among others, are participating.
“We will also be making recommendations for the way forward in addressing Health and Social Service (HSS) barriers and building on lessons learnt and best practices. And ultimately we plan to support a statement from civil society,” Hassell said.
He said there will be two core outcomes of the meeting.
“Firstly that civil society, public health sector and the private health sector become better aware and informed of issues to health services strengthening in their own areas of health care delivery,” he noted. “Additionally for we in the Caribbean to appreciate that civil society organizations such as the Cancer Society, heart foundations, diabetes associations, provide significant amount of care in our different countries and fill in fact several gaps in the provision of health care.”
“And so it is important that their care systems be strengthened even as we seek to strengthen the more traditional public and private sector systems of care,” Hassell said.