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World Health Day focuses on healthcare as a human right

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (File photograph)

The necessity of healthcare as a human right will be the central theme of this year’s World Health Day.

The annual observation, which took place yesterday, will have the theme “My Health, My Right”, to highlight challenges around the equal distribution of healthcare and keeping healthy.

It also aims to push for rights to safe drinking water, clean air, good nutrition, quality housing, proper working environments and freedom from discrimination.

World Health Day marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organisation in 1948.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said that her sector remained committed to “putting Bermuda on the road to equal access to healthcare for all”.

She reminded the public that the Government was laying down the foundation for introducing universal healthcare, which is scheduled to launch in July 2025.

Ms Wilson explained that the results of the Steps population health survey and the continuing Hearts risk management programme will help to determine the core benefits package for UHC.

Findings from the WHO’s Council for the Economics of Health for All showed in 2021 that at least 4.5 billion people, or more than half the world’s population, were not fully covered by essential health services.

Ms Wilson said employers are required by law to provide health insurance for people who work more than 15 hours a week, in line with the Health Insurance (Exemption) Regulations.

She added: “The Ministry of Health continues to make advances to address the gaps in service to those who are under or uninsured in the community.

“As outlined in this year’s Throne Speech, renovations are under way for the Mangrove Bay Clinic to offer services to people where they are most needed.”

Ms Wilson said: “As part of our Bermuda Health Strategy, the Ministry of Health strives to ensure everyone can access quality healthcare.

“One of the strategic principles in the strategy is promoting healthy living and preventive care.

“We want to empower the community to lead healthy lifestyles by enabling people to increase control over and improve their physical and mental health.

“As we celebrate World Health Day, I want to remind everyone to focus on improving our overall wellbeing.

“Exercise, choose healthy food, drink plenty of water, enjoy being outside in the sunshine and fresh air, and have a routine that promotes good mental health.”

Jarbas Barbosa, the director of the Pan American Health Organisation, said: “As we celebrate World Health Day, PAHO reiterates its commitment so that all people in our region, boys, girls, adolescents, men and women without any discrimination based on ethnic or racial origin, sexual orientation or gender identity, language, national origin, socioeconomic status, disability or any other condition, can effectively say ‘my health is not a privilege, it is my right’.”

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Published April 06, 2024 at 7:30 am (Updated April 07, 2024 at 10:35 pm)

World Health Day focuses on healthcare as a human right

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