Top OECS Health Officials Meet in St. Kitts

(ZIZ News) – Top health officials are in St. Kitts for a series of events planned by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States [OECS], Pharmaceutical Procurement Services and the local Ministry of Health.

The two-day session which comprises of the 29th Meeting of the Policy Board and the 2nd Council of Health Ministers Meeting began on Wednesday when officials gathered at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort for a Policy Board Meeting.

Our cameras were on hand to capture the opening ceremony which was chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Andrew Skerritt and heard an address from the Hon. Eugene Hamilton.

Skerritt, who acted as chairperson of the opening ceremony, praised the OECS, particularly for its ability to provide affordable pharmaceuticals for individual health systems through pooled procurement efforts.

He said, “It is evident that our continued successes in regional health systems to date have been due to the collaborative partnerships forged between our governments, the private sector and development partners. These Policy Board Meetings are such examples.”

Skerritt said events such as the Policy Board Meeting provide health officials with opportunities to share experiences and best practices while simultaneously deepening the ties of cooperation within the OECS.

Health Minister Hamilton is the incoming chairperson of the policy board. During the feature address, he spoke of the link between health and sustainable development and said the goal is to set the stage for the delivery of goods and services that people require and deserve.

“Indeed, the desire for improved healthcare quality and of course quantity, was central to my government’s ‘Prosperity For All’ manifesto. The people, in February 2015, gave their resounding approval,” the Minister stated.

The opening ceremony also featured remarks by Bentley Browne who is the Director of the Social and Sustainable Development Division of the OECS, and Luis de Shong who represented outgoing Chairman from the Ministry of Health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Hon. Clayton Bergan.

Among the local dignitaries present were Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Shawn Richards, Tourism Minister Hon. Lindsay Grant, Senator Hon. Wendy Phipps, and Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health, Eugenie Condor.

The official opening of the OECS Health Ministers Meeting took place Wednesday evening at Government House. A press conference has also been organised for Thursday 22nd at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

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