Minister for Health and Medical Services, Dr. Ifereimi Waqainabete says the health system in Fiji is being streamlined to ensure that all Fijians have equitable access to healthcare services.

Dr. Waqainabete attended the 31st Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting (CHMM) in Geneva last week were Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was one of the priority areas of discussions.

During the meeting, the Health Ministers collectively agreed to ensure that health services should be readily available to all the citizens.

The Ministers emphasized on the need to work in collaboration to progress towards UHC.

The global community is almost a third of the way towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal deadline and it has been noted that half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services

Dr. Waqainabete, who is the outgoing chair of the CHMM confirmed that the Ministers deliberated on the need for setting context specific UHC goals aligned with concrete actions and this included:

 •Strengthening the health workforce not only by increasing their numbers and securing  the  appropriate  distribution  of  health  workers  with  the  right  competencies but  also  to  support  all  health  workers  to  be  knowledgeable  about, and committed to promoting and protecting the rights and dignity of all people.

•Recognizing  primary  healthcare  close  to  the  community  as  a  gateway  to  leaving no one behind.

•Expanding  and  adapting  health  services  and  human  resources  for  health,  according to the national need, from promotion, prevention to treatment, rehabilitation and  palliative  care,  paying  particular  attention  to  unreached  populations,  ensuring  services  are  accessible  and  inclusive  and  the  most  vulnerable  population  are  able  to  contribute  and  participate in their development.

The CHMM also recorded considerable progress made by the member countries with innovative ideas towards the provision of health care services in a timely manner and at the same time reaching the unreachable.

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