BVI health system commended

The government of the British Virgin Islands has been commended on its achievements, as its health system is said to be setting the example for the Eastern Caribbean region.
Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) advisor of health systems strengthening, Dr Peter Crowley, said the government has thought about and acted more than anyone, in the development of its health system.

Crowley is a member of a team of PAHO consultants participating in a series of consultations for developing a universal health roadmap for the British Virgin Islands. The one-week consultation began on March 27, and is a joint initiative between the ministry of health and social development and PAHO.

The initiative is geared towards examining the current performance of the health system and deriving strategies to further strengthen the range, quality and access of health services across the territory.

Crowley said, “The obligation is not just on the BVI and its people, but the obligation is for you to show others because you are a part of them and you have made advances. So I put a little bit of challenge on the BVI and that is to guide part of the Eastern Caribbean countries.”

He added, “There are a lot of things that you have done right [and] a lot of things that needs some tune ups and that is why we are here to work with you and to hear from you.”

Permanent Secretary in the ministry of health and social development, Petrona Davies said PAHO has been one of the BVI’s strongest allies in its efforts to improve the health system.

Davies, while addressing participants at a high level dialogue held on March 29, said, “Whether we are promoting health, preventing diseases or providing a full range of care for persons affected by diseases; to achieve this goal… it requires a joint effort not only to ensure that we have the right infrastructure, human resources, health technologies and financing mechanisms in place, where we have been making significant strides, but also to ensure that we eliminate barriers that may limit a person’s access to those services.”

Davies also stated that the people of the BVI aspire to be a healthier population and the ministry must continually examine ways to further strengthen the capacity of the health system to serve their needs.

The consultants met with Premier Dr Orlando Smith and the minister for health and social development Ronnie Skelton on March 30 and conveyed commendations and discussed preliminary observations that will be further elaborated in the completion of the roadmap. The consultants gave assurance of PAHO’s commitment to ongoing technical cooperation with the government and people of the British Virgin Islands towards improving health coverage and access to health.

Representatives from the public and private health sectors, civil society, and international experts participated in the consultations and were expected to debate and agree on the way forward for universal health in the BVI. (Caribbean News Now)

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