The intervention of Dr. José Angel Portal Miranda, Minister of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, at the 60th session of the Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and 75th session of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization Health (WHO) for the Americas.
Doctor Jarbas Barbosa da Silva;
First of all, I want to thank Dr. Barbosa for the usefulness of the document presented in this session of the Director Council, for the many information he gave us.
That we can continue to meet in person is evidence that the world is holding back the terrible pandemic of COVID-19. Unfortunately, we have not been able to do this with the devastating effects that the virus has left behind: the asymmetries and inequities in medical care are greater and the principle of “health for all” is further away for various country on the planet.
Why put conditions on life that we all have a right to? What are we doing as an Organization to end these inequalities?
Even the death of millions of people in difficult years has caused all governments to seriously reflect on the need to support strong health systems that guarantee everyone’s right to health and following the Sustainable Development Goals. .
We fully agree with the vision expressed by Dr. Barbosa for the future of PAHO, and in this sense Cuba affirms its support for the five strategic pillars that it proposes, which in our opinion should concentrate the efforts of our health systems in order to achieve -ot the universal health of America.
Public Health in Cuba is not the privilege of the few, it is the right of all people and the responsibility of the State to guarantee access, freedom and quality of services.
In these bases, which support the work of the National Health System, we find in Cuba the greatest strength to successfully face the complex scenario brought about by the COVID-19. Among many other elements, this is also possible because of our health management, intersectoral work and past scientific progress that allowed us to create our own vaccines and carry out an unprecedented campaign of vaccination of the country.
These are very difficult years, in which we also have to face an unprecedented intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States, and the consequences caused by the arbitrary inclusion of Cuba in the country . unilateral list of states allegedly promoting terrorism.
The numbers for the damage caused by the two events against my country are millions, and behind each of them there are thousands of suffering Cuban families, do not let anyone be deceived. It is impossible to attack a country’s economy and not attack its people.
Our National Health System follows a path of unity and cooperation that has been possible in the last 60 years for more than 605,000 Cuban collaborators who have provided medical care in 165 countries. Currently, almost 23 thousand are working in 56 countries.
Cuba, which has been able to follow the principle of “health for all,” has confirmed its willingness to put moderate experiences and human resources at the disposal of the Pan American Health Organization and its member states.
Strengthening, perfecting, uniting the wills, changing, collaborating… are the key words that must define the actions of our health systems if we want them to be truly ready to respond of the many and complex challenges facing humanity.