Minister of Health and Family

on the Plenary Session

of the 55th World Health Assembly

(Geneva, May 14, 2002)

Mr. Chairman,

Madame Director General,

Assembly members,

Good Afternoon

It is my great pleasure to address the message of our delegation to the 55-th World Health Assembly.

In the short time available to me, I would like to present the position and the progress of Romania on certain major agenda items, which will be discussed and debated this week.

First, we appreciate the efforts of World Health Organization in the direction of improving the nationals and global health items, within each of the four strategic directions, mainly those addressed to poor and disadvantaged populations.

In this context, Romania fully endorses the Millennium Declaration. We already integrated in our national strategy the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

Let me give you some examples:

1.By the end of 2001, The Interministerial Committee to Fight Against Poverty has been set up, under the co-ordination of the Prime Minister. The Committee has developed a National Strategy, and health is one of its major components, aiming to ensure more resources and marginalized people. This year, legislation was revised in order to assure a basic health benefit package for the uninsured people. In the some context, the Parliament approved the low of a Minimum Guaranteed Income for all Romanian citizens.

2.The Government has taken another important step in the fight against HIV/ AIDS, by setting up in March 2002 the National Commission for surveillance, control and prevention of HIV/AIDS. This commission co-ordinates the activities between the ministries involved and nongovernmental, international and other organisations in all issues regarding the treatment, care, prevention, education and social rights of HIV/ AIDS patients.

3. TB is another challenge of public health in Romania and for this reason a national program to fight against is implemented. This program includes among other components, that all persons with TB, including uninsured ones, have full access to effective diagnosis and treatment.

4.The special concern of the Romanian Ministry of Health and Family on reducing child mortality and improving maternal health is reflected in the national program for child and family health, offering for example, free access to health care services and drugs for all children and young under 18 years old.

5.Government of Romania and Ministry of Health and Family had also defined regulatory frameworks in the following priority health related area:

-Epidemiological surveillance of communicable diseases and rapid alert system;

-Blood safety policy;

-Promoting healthy lifestyles and fight against tobbaco, alchool and illegal drugs;

-National pharmaceuticals and drugs policy;

-Universal access to health care services for all Romanian citizens.

All elements presented today, together with other concerns of our country related to health are part of the Romanian efforts done in the process of integration to the European Union. In this context, we appreciate the steps accomplished together by WHO and EU institutions, in order to contribute to the improvement of the overall health status of the population.

At the end, I would like to assure you that Romania would continue to support and participate to the WHO efforts aiming to advance health at global level and will implement specific strategic directions at national level.

Thank you for your attention.

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