Health Canada

Health Canada

November 02, 2007 15:24 ET

Canada Participates in Global Health Security Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C, UNITED STATES--(Marketwire - Nov. 2, 2007) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, met today with his counterparts from G7 countries, Mexico and the European Union at the Global Health Security Initiative's Eighth Ministerial Forum. International health ministers were on hand to discuss key issues, including the threat of biological, chemical and radio-nuclear terrorism, and pandemic influenza.

"International collaboration is important in protecting the health security of our citizens, and those of the international community," Minister Clement noted. "Threats to public health and safety transcend borders. This forum will advance our goals, which include an annual risk assessment update to a wide range of threats to our health security. Canada, as a key member of this partnership, is strengthening health security globally."

While in Washington, Minister Clement also joined the Honourable Mike Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services of the U.S.A and Dr. Jose Angel Cordoba Villalobos, Health Minister of Mexico, in signing a trilateral Declaration of Mutual Assistance in the event of a public health emergency. The Declaration covers broad areas of cooperation in public health, including border health, laboratory testing, diagnosis and treatment, epidemiological investigation and the control of infectious diseases. Areas of cooperation also include preparedness and response for an influenza pandemic and acts of bioterrorism. It emphasizes our obligations domestically as our first priority, but reflects the benefits of international cooperation and assistance in public health emergencies.

Minister Clement also addressed key health policy issues with ministers from six other countries at the Commonwealth Fund 2007 International Symposium on Health Policy in Washington. Ministers participated in a health care policy roundtable, and signed a collaborative action statement highlighting commitment to international efforts to advance patient safety. The Symposium was an important part of the global partnership focus of the Minister's Washington schedule.

Canada plays a leading role in the Global Health Security Initiative. It hosted the first Ministerial Forum in Ottawa in November 2001. Canada is also the Secretariat for this Initiative, designated chair of the Global Health Security Action Group and the Global Health Security Laboratory Network, and co-chairs the Working Group on Risk Management and Communication.

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Contact Information

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