Government of Canada strengthens health partnerships in the Americas

News Release

Advancing shared global health priorities with partner nations

September 27, 2017 - Ottawa - Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada

Good health is a universal objective, and nations in close geographic proximity can benefit from strong partnerships and collaboration on shared health priorities.

Over the last three days, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health and Dr. Theresa Tam, Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, held meetings in Washington, D.C., with health leaders and government officials from the United States and other countries in the Americas. Discussions focused on improving global health, identifying and targeting shared health priorities and the opioid crisis currently impacting both the United States and Canada.

While in Washington D.C., Minister Petitpas Taylor attended the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference, a high-level event held every five years by the Pan American Health Organization. At the opening ceremonies, the Minister emphasized the importance of maternal health, vaccination and mental health. The Conference also afforded the Minister numerous opportunities to interact with health ministers from other countries and partners of the Americas.

Minister Petitpas Taylor and the Honourable Ricardo Barros, Brazil's Minister of Health, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for health sector collaboration between the two countries, signalling a shared value and willingness between the two countries for continued cooperation in the field of health.

The shared crisis of opioid overdoses in the U.S. and Canada was a key topic of discussion in meetings with U.S. officials. Minister Petitpas Taylor visited Capitol Hill and met with members of Congress and the Senate representing some of the U.S. states hardest hit by this epidemic. The meetings were productive and focused on how governments can work to address the crisis.

Cooperation on global health issues was also a primary interest. In an introductory meeting with the World Bank, Minister Petitpas Taylor commended the organization for its commitment to global health priorities and programming, and discussed how Canada might engage with them on areas of mutual concern and interest.


Quotes

"I am pleased to have had this opportunity to meet with many of my international colleagues. These relationships are vital to addressing shared health priorities in the interest of protecting the health of Canadians and citizens worldwide. I am especially proud to continue to build on our deep and extensive partnership with the United States, our closest neighbour and ally. I look forward to working closely with all my international colleagues in the Americas to protect and promote good health within our region and worldwide."
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

"Global health issues are complex and difficult to address without collaborative effort and cooperative action. The shared opioid crisis in the U.S. and Canada is an example. Work is underway to address this epidemic. Our long and established working relationship with the U.S. will be of mutual benefit in turning the tide on the opioid crisis."
Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer

Contacts

Yves-Alexandre Comeau
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
613-957-0200

Media Relations
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada
613-957-2983

Public Inquiries
613-957-2991
1-866-225-0709


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