Healthcare is an Investment: Minister for Health and Social Development Hon.
Vincent Wheatley's Statement In a recent conference on chronic diseases and mental health organized by the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) Small Island Developing States in Barbados, Hon.
Vincent Wheatley, Minister for Health and Social Development of the Virgin Islands
, emphasized the importance of viewing health as an investment rather than a cost to society and the public purse.
In his report, Wheatley highlighted the need for equitable access to healthcare, as outlined in the World Health Organization's Universal Health Care Strategy.
He stressed that without healthy people, there can be no productive economy or society.
On the other hand, healthy people are a sign of a thriving economy and well-developed territory.
The conference encouraged the involvement of all sectors of government, civil society, and service users in the policy-making process.
Wheatley acknowledged that the health sector cannot act alone, and that engagement with commercial activities that have a negative impact on health is just as important as engaging them on positive matters.
The Minister for Health also visited the Winston Scott Polyclinic in Bridgetown, where he observed primary healthcare in action.
He discussed with the director of the Chronic Disease Research Center and visited St. Michael's College, where he discussed health and family life education programs.
Overall, the conference provided valuable exposure to best practices and opportunities for networking with colleagues from Small Island Developing States around the world.
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