Access to medicines discussed during visit of Portuguese Minister of Health
Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe, applauded the intersectoral work that Portugal is already undertaking to address health inequalities and the social determinants of health, including efforts at the local level and through civil society, during the visit of Dr Adalberto Campos Fernandes, Minister of Health of Portugal, to WHO/Europe on 19 April 2016.
The challenge of maintaining financial resources for health was discussed at the meeting, among other issues. Access to medicines and rising procurement costs, due in part to an ageing population, were concerns raised by Minister Fernandes. Dr Jakab offered support from the WHO Barcelona Office for Health Systems Strengthening to address health financing, and explained how WHO is assisting Member States on pharmaceutical issues through its work on joint procurement and access.
The visit was an opportunity for the Minister to discuss deeper cooperation and the 2016–2017 Biennial Collaborative Agreement between WHO/Europe and the Ministry. Dr Francisco George, Director-General of Health, accompanied Minister Fernandes on the visit.