The ministers who met here at the invitation of the Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) agreed that improved information systems are vital for “future-proofing” national health care services and health coverage throughout the Caribbean.
“The Caribbean region is recognized for providing innovative health proposals to the rest of the world,” said PAHO’s Director, Dominican-born Dr. Carissa Etienne
“And we are making history again this week, as the first region to articulate a common vision for achieving secure, shared and scalable information systems for health.”
The health ministers–joined by PAHO representatives, leading regional health experts and international government representatives–agreed to collaborate in areas of innovation, financing, capacity-building, legislation, and data management for enhancing these information systems, PAHO said.
It said health ministers also noted that existing and future information tools and technologies must be “harnessed and optimized for gathering and sharing digital data on the health needs and services of their most vulnerable and under-served populations, while bridging different levels of development and resources across their countries.”
Grenada’s Health Minister Nicholas Steele said ‘reliable information, communicated effectively, has the potential to transform the future delivery of our healthcare services, as we seek to achieve universal access to health services and health coverage”.
The Assistant Secretary General for Health and Social Development at the Guyana-based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat , Dr. Douglas Slater said “more health data is needed from different sectors ,combined with regional information-sharing, that enables better research and decision-making on our health services.”
PAHO said the regional health ministers also agreed that information systems for health must safeguard patient privacy, confidentiality and security, by ensuring that all digital health data is secure and protected.
- Countries: CARICOM