The Ministry of Health is committed to addressing the social and environmental determinants of health, in an effort to avoid an immense disease burden with the consequential high costs of treatment and rehabilitation.

Health Minister John Boyce, speaking yesterday at the Barbados/PAHO Country Consultation on ???Universal Health Coverage???, stated: ???No country in the world has the financial or technological capacity to treat its way out of non-communicable diseases, mental health and substance abuse, or communicable diseases.???

As a result, Government???s emphasis is on utilising the principles of health promotion and disease prevention.

Mr. Boyce said this includes building collaborative relationships with other sectors of Government and civil society to promote health in all policies, and engaging manufacturers and others in the business sector in promoting health as it relates to processes and outputs.

It also involves engaging the media and other agents to educate and advocate for improvements in health, as well as strengthening the capacity of individuals to take responsibility for their health.

Mr. Boyce noted that efficient and equitable use of resources was an important factor in the context of universal health coverage.

The Ministry???s strategy going forward, he disclosed, would address areas such as the redesign of clinical services, the establishment of discharge policies and the rationalisation of support services to improve economies of scale.??Management structures will also be strengthened to improve accountability and procurement practices updated.

Also on the cards is ???the aggressive introduction of public and private insurances??? in helping to meeting the cost of health care, as well as the increased utilisation of evidence-based practices to secure the best value for monies allocated to the health sector.

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