Within the framework of Universal Health Day, the head of the Nation’s health portfolio, Carla Vizzotti, participated in a high-level virtual meeting held by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) under the motto “Let’s forge the world we want: a healthy future for everyone”, in which he spoke about the right to health and the necessary changes in countries to achieve social protection and a welfare state.
“When we talk about equity, we talk about each inhabitant of our countries receiving from the State the specificity of their needs, and the fragmentation of the health system, segmentation, and financing difficulties clearly impact inequities of access and coverage,” he said. the minister during her speech.
In the panel moderated by the director of the WHO, James Fitzgerald, in which the Minister of Health of Guyana and the Vice Minister of Colombia also participated, Vizzotti referred to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health systems of the countries of the region, recalled the difficulties in accessing critical supplies and pondered that “with this difficulty, South America is also the region with the highest vaccination coverage in the world.”
In this sense, the minister acknowledged that “now that we are at a different stage thanks to vaccines, the system is under tension due to the increase in pathology with delayed care, late diagnoses, chronic diseases that were not controlled, the risk of having outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases and the impact that the pandemic has had on mental health conditions”, for which he indicated that “thinking of universal access to health includes all these aspects that have accelerated a lot”.
Thus, after pointing out that “the pandemic also left us lessons learned as a region”, Vizzotti stressed that “primary care, system integration and digital health are the axes to access universal health”, and explained that the strategy epidemiology and laboratory “must be transformed into a triad with information systems so that they are a fundamental pillar for access to integrated health, in addition to epidemiological surveillance and emergency response.”
Finally, the minister concluded: “The challenge of building the world we want and a healthy future for all is immense, it requires political commitments that transcend the health authorities and requires international cooperation, solidarity and strategic planning.”