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The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, to lead Canada's delegation at the 71st World Health Assembly


The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, to lead Canada's delegation at the 71st World Health Assembly

Canada NewsWire

Bringing Canada's perspective to global health challenges

OTTAWA, May 17, 2018 /CNW/ - The health challenges that we face today are becoming more complex and difficult to address. Globalization makes it easier for infectious diseases to spread across borders. Health issues such as mental illness and chronic diseases impact people across the globe. Developed and developing countries have systemic challenges that impact the health of their populations. Addressing these challenges goes beyond anything that one country or one sector can do on its own.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, will lead Canada's delegation at the 71st World Health Assembly next week in Geneva, where health leaders and experts will gather to discuss the health challenges facing the world today, and agree to collaborative actions to address them. Minister Petitpas Taylor will be joined by:

  • Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer;
  • Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister of Health Canada;
  • Marilyn Gladu, PC, MP, Shadow Minister for Health – Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition;
  • Dr. Horacio Arruda, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, Government of Quebec;
  • Sameera Hussain, Fellow, Canadian Society for International Health; and
  • Charles-Antoine Barbeau-Meunier, Youth Delegate, International Federation of Medical Student Associations – Quebec.

Minister Petitpas Taylor will deliver a statement to the plenary of the World Health Assembly on May 21, to underscore Canada's commitment to global health and to outline our global health priorities. She will also present a statement on behalf of the Region of the Americas, reflecting on Canada's role as chair of that group this year, as well as on the countries' accomplishments and the challenges they face in achieving health for all through universal health coverage.

Throughout the week, the Canadian delegation will work with other countries to negotiate and advance resolutions and decisions that will guide the work of the World Health Organization and Member States on health issues. Key items being discussed include public health preparedness and response; the impacts of climate change on health; physical activity; and access to medicines and vaccines. 

Minister Petitpas Taylor and the Canadian delegation will also participate in meetings and events to exchange best practices, share Canada's expertise, and coordinate efforts on health issues such as mental health, opioids, nutrition and food labelling, universal health coverage, health in emergency situations, and ending attacks on health care workers and health infrastructure in conflict zones.


"People around the world are still, unfortunately, faced with the difficult choice of paying for health care or going without. Many do not have access to essential health services. Canada is committed to helping to ensure that everyone—both in Canada and around the world—has an equal opportunity to achieve optimal health. I look forward to working with my international colleagues next week to coordinate our actions and maximize our efforts to achieve health for all."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

"Everyone deserves the opportunity to achieve good health so that they can fully participate in, and contribute to, society. That means levelling the playing field by addressing the underlying factors that prevent people—especially the poorest and most marginalized—from being healthy. The World Health Assembly's theme this year is Health for All. It's an ambitious yet essential goal that we can reach only by working together."
Dr. Theresa Tam
Canada's Chief Public Health Officer

Quick Facts

  • The 71st session of the World Health Assembly takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 21‑26, 2018.
  • The World Health Assembly brings together health leaders from the World Health Organization's 194 Member States, as well as stakeholders and experts, to discuss the world's most pressing health challenges and to identify actions to address those challenges.
  • Canada has been a member of the World Health Organization since its inception in 1948.

Associated Links
The 71st World Health Assembly


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

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