Press Release

Assembly Health Committee Chair Addresses Health Conference In Cuba

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 13 December 2012

Reference: HSSPS 06/12/13

The Chairperson of the Assembly's Health Committee, Sue Ramsey MLA, has addressed a major conference on health inequalities. The conference, which included health professionals and government representatives was held in Havana Cuba from 3 - 7 December and focussed on the way these inequalities are tackled throughout the world.

Ms Ramsey addressed the conference on the challenges facing the local health system and the development of a new public health strategy. The conference was attended by 22 Health Ministers from across the world, and had 1500 delegates from 45 countries.

Ms Ramsey said: "I was honoured to be invited to speak at the Cuban health conference alongside Health Ministers from across the world. I have learned so much from meeting them, health professionals and trade union representatives from Cuba and other countries.

“I have had a chance to discuss their approaches to the provision of healthcare and I was also pleased to have an opportunity to see how healthcare is delivered in Cuba. I was pleased to be able to visit family doctor surgeries, primary care centres, day centres and groups for the elderly, as well as the Latin American School of Medicine.

“I will be discussing with the Public Health Agency how we might apply some of the lessons from Cuba to the development of our new public health strategy."

Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, Jim Wells MLA, also took part in the study visit. He said: "There are some very impressive statistics coming out of Cuba - they spend around 500 US dollars per person on health, whereas we are spending around 4,000 US dollars per person, and yet we have similar health outcomes as they do."

The Committee is currently carrying out a Review into Health Inequalities in order to contribute to the Department of Health’s development of the new public health strategy. The Committee has taken a range of evidence as well as taking part in the Conference and study visit to Cuba. The Committee’s report will be published in the new year.


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