Saint Lucia’s Minister for Health and the Chief Medical Officer have returned from what has been described as a productive four days of discussions. The duo participated in the 36th OECS-PPS Policy Board meeting and the 9th meeting of OECS Council of Health Ministers held from Oct. 9 to 12 in the British Virgin Islands.
The meetings were chaired by the Hon. Vincent O. Wheatley, Minister for Health and Social Development of the British Virgin Islands.
A formal opening ceremony was held on Oct. 9, with remarks by the Hon. Dr. Natalio D. Wheatley, Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon. Vincent Wheatley-Minister for Health and Social Development and His Excellency Dr. Didacus Jules, OECS Director General.
During the 36th OECS-PPS Policy Board meeting, Ms. Roselyne Opel, Head of the OECS-PPS (Pooled Procurement Service) presented the Annual Report 2023. The eighth Edition of the OECS Formulary was also launched and the Conduct and Performance of the OECS-PPS Accounts by the ECCB was presented. The OECS Health Unit Report work program was also presented, as well as the adoption of the report of the eighth Meeting of the Council of Ministers, during the ninth Meeting of the OECS Council of Health Ministers.
Among the current relevant health topics discussed were: improving lives through preventative health care, current challenges and gaps around primary health care and NCD prevention, Epidemiology of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer in the region and the Hearts Initiative, the Epidemiology of Diabetes Mellitus, prevention measures and evidence based solutions. Participants also got the opportunity to visit to the 80-bed, state-of-the-art Dr. Orlando Smith Hospital.
“This visit served as an excellent opportunity to review best in secondary care. Full discussions followed this site visit and a short closing ceremony. Saint Lucia’s Minister for Health, Wellness and Elderly Affairs, Hon. Moses Jn. Baptiste took the opportunity to thank the BVI’s Minister for Health for the excellent hospitality, and the Director General of the OECS Dr. Didacus Jules and team from the OECS for the excellent 9th Council of Ministers meeting,” stated Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George.