Health Canada

Health Canada

June 06, 2007 18:22 ET

Canada's Health Minister Clement Announces Policy Dialogue with Australia

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - June 6, 2007) - The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, met with Australian Minister for Health and Ageing Tony Abbott today to announce a joint Canada-Australia Policy Dialogue on health issues. The agreement outlines mutual work the two countries plan to undertake in the next four years in key areas such as access to health care, health and the environment, and cancer strategies.

"Although our countries are a hemisphere apart, Canada and Australia are strikingly similar," said Minister Clement. "We both face the challenges of having aging populations dispersed across large land masses. We also share a commitment to deliver universal health care together with our provincial and territorial partners. This agreement will help us learn from each other as we meet these challenges."

The meeting comes as Minister Clement attended the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Health Ministers' Meeting in Sydney, Australia. Minister Clement also updated other APEC health ministers on the status of an Action Plan, developed by Canada and other APEC nations over the past year, on the prevention and response to Avian and Influenza Pandemic.

"Australia and Canada have an ongoing relationship of collaboration in many areas, including matters of health care," said Minister Tony Abbott. "This policy dialogue will benefit both our nations, as we study each others' approaches and seek improvements for our health care systems."

One of the goals of the Canada-Australia Health Policy Dialogue is to identify areas of future collaboration, where the partnership will allow the two countries to exchange best practices and knowledge.

"Our two countries share similar cultures, governments, demographics, and geography," said Minister Clement. "Now we will share our successes and best practices in the health care field as well."

The Letter of Intent provides a framework for activities under the Canada-Australia Health Policy Dialogue. It is expected the agreement will facilitate the exchange of scientists, clinicians and other health professionals between countries, and will promote direct cooperation between research institutions and health associations.

The agreement remains in effect until December 31, 2011.

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