CMOs Gather in Grand Cayman
The Minister of Health the Hon. Mark Scotland, JP, has this morning (Monday, 16 April) declared open the 20th Meeting of Chief Medical Officers. The two-day CARICOM event, held for the first time in the Cayman Islands, will see chief medical officers and other officials from 12 Caribbean territories and countries discuss regional health issues.
During his opening remarks, Minister Scotland said that while the Cayman Islands is not a full CARICOM member, the country has always supported, participated in and benefited from regional health initiatives.
"As such we are indeed honoured to finally host this important regional health event. For while we all hail from different countries with our own unique identities, many of the health challenges we face are very similar," he added.
Dr. Rudolph Cummings, Programme Manager Health Sector Development for the CARICOM Secretariat, commended the Cayman Islands for playing host to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) meeting, noting that the gathering comes at a time when "lots is going on" in the health sector, especially as it follows on the Caribbean's "stellar showing" at the United Nations' High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases which took place last year.
Minister Scotland echoed this view, calling the meeting very timely: "With the United Nations' Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil coming up in June, it is vital for the health sector to find and have a voice. In many instances, legislators and policy makers will be looking to their chief medical officers, to make the case for enshrining public health in global sustainable development goals."
The minister continued: "Looking at regional health statistics on non-communicable diseases, we will have to pool our resources to avert this potential health crisis. In this regards, the Cayman Islands is very thankful to the Pan American Health Organisation for assisting us in developing our National Health Policy and our Strategic Health Plan by providing us with technical assistance in the form of a consultant to facilitate the process.
"We have also launched a primary health care programme called CayHealth. It is envisaged that this programme will strengthen primary health care, provide better outcomes and save resources. At present it also allows us to track NCDs in a target population - giving us vital health statistics for future planning. My ministry has also allocated funds for a NCD health risk factor survey which we will embark on next month. Once again, we received technical assistance from PAHO in training and planning for this exercise."
For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver