(SIG/GCU Release): Solomon Islands Minister of Health and Medical Services, Hon. Dickson Mua has urged the Global Community to recognise the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan to fully participate at the World Health Assembly.
Hon. Mua is currently leading the Solomon Islands delegation to the 72nd World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on the theme “Universal Health Coverage: Leaving No One Behind”.
Delivering his first global statement on behalf of Solomon Islands at the Assembly meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday 24th May, Hon. Mua said the inclusion of Taiwan will mean that the 23 million people of that country are not left out in shared commitments to ensure the Assembly truly lives up to the ideals of ‘Universal Health Coverage’ and ‘Leaving No One behind’ for the good and wellbeing of all mankind.
Mr Mua said the theme is a timely reminder to all the 193 countries attending the Assembly that universal health coverage meant that all individuals and communities had access to health services they needed without suffering financial hardship.
This included the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.
“However, universal health coverage does not mean free coverage for all possible health interventions, regardless of the cost, as no country can provide all services free of charge on a sustainable basis,” Mr Mua said.
The Minister also reaffirmed Solomon Islands commitment to the values of the WHO constitution which envisages the attainment of good health as a fundamental right for all.
“We believe that UHC provides the best platform on which this right can be protected. We also believe that UHC is crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and that these two are inalienable. We therefore join member states in registering our commitment to UHC in achieving health for all and the SDGs,” Mr Mua said.
Minister Mua informed the Assembly that the Solomon Islands journey towards UHC has already started with the overarching goal to achieve this through the Role Delineation Policy (RDP) for Solomon Islands.
The RDP describes 6 levels of health care services in Solomon Islands by defining the core service packages to be delivered at each level and the resources required to deliver these services such as infrastructure, equipment, medicines, and human resources.
In the quest towards attaining UHC through RDP implementation, the Solomon Islands Government is also reforming the country’s health system through a restructuring process of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and strengthening governance structures at provincial and zone (regional) levels.
Mr Mua said the Government is approaching the implementation of the RDP in two broad ways; first is through existing facility upgrade projects by ensuring that any new facility is RDP compliant in terms of design, equipment, medicines, staffing and services. Second is to prioritize implementation of RDP in most need zones to maximize gains from our limited resources.
Minister Mua acknowledged the continued support rendered by multilateral development partners and neighboring member states in the country’s journey towards achieving Universal Health Coverage, including support from WHO WPRO and WHO country office in the development of the RDP and its implementation.