Statement by H.E. Dr Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih, MPH, Dr.PH, Minister of Health of Indonesia at the 63rd World Health Assembly
May 17, 2010 Posted under Health and Labour Issues
Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a great honour for me to be here in Geneva to deliver my statement at this 63rd World Health Assembly. I congratulate HE. Mr. Mundher Zenaidi, the Health Minister of Tunisia, for his assumption of the Presidency of the Assembly. This Assembly is indeed of utmost important annual event discussing global health agenda and recommending policy direction, aimed at achieving healthy global communities.
It has been ten years since the UN Millennium Summit agreed to a 2015 deadline for MDG’s achievement. Therefore, it is timely for us to undertake a review on our achievement and consider ways forward to accelerate achievement of the agreed goals for those that are lagging behind.
Indeed, public health constitutes the major components of MDGs, namely nutrition, maternal health, child health, water and sanitation and HIV/AIDS and other prevailing communicable diseases. Furthermore, poverty alleviation and gender mainstreaming are closely linked to public health intervention.
I am pleased to note that some Member States have achieved significant progress in attaining the MDG’s targets. However, we must also recognize that major, and often unforeseen, challenges such as political instability and conflict, lack of resources, as well as economic and humanitarian crises, have impeded the efforts of some countries in meeting the development goals.
Given that we now only have five years to meet the 2015 MDG’s, Member States need to reaffirm their commitment and continue in their efforts to reinvigorate and strengthen mutual cooperation and partnerships.
In this regard Indonesia is fully committed to achieve the MDGs as scheduled. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono emphasized that the effort to achieve MDGs is one moral obligation, not only for the fulfilment of international commitment, but also for our national need to increase the welfare of the people.
Indonesia, with its disparities in geographic locations of about 17,000 islands, level of socio-economic development, combined with its culture and social diversities, is experiencing different levels in the achievement of the MDGs targets, as far as the comparative analyses between areas are concerned. Decentralized areas, with their diverse resources, have contributed to diverse responses to public health interventions, and these have posed serious challenges to attain the agreed goals.
Although significant investment has been undertaken by the Government of Indonesia, including the use of international aids, aiming at achieving MDGs, there is an urgent need for us to consider constructive ways to accelerate their achievements. In this regard, I should recall the statement of the Indonesian Vice President Boediono at the UN Headquarters last April 2010 that “Increased and secure funding is essential to increasing the momentum towards achieving the MDGs, particularly goals 4 and 5.” On the other hand, based on the analysis in Indonesia, the government could only fulfill health financing for less than 80%.
It is therefore pertinent that the levels of ODA (Official Development Assistance) from donor countries must remain consistent and in place, as stated by UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon. Nevertheless, we should not preclude governance in facing this reality. I urge that international aids be made effective by synchronizing and synergizing the national policies and strategies.
All measures and strategies implemented by the Government of Indonesia adopt a ‘pro-poor’ approach focusing, among others, on maximizing the natural and cultural assets of poor communities and creating an environment in which opportunities to make income can be generated. All stakeholders, including the government, private sectors and civil societies, should make meaningful contributions to this process and their participation and cooperation at all levels are required.
Allow me to reiterate the principle that “Health is an investment, not a cost!” Clearly, it is essential that any health care system is financially viable, but this financial viability should not be calculated in isolation from the business perspective or from long-term saving strategies.
Access to health care allows millions of people to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives and is a fundamental human right for the people on whose behalf we speak today. All countries, particularly those that are more economically developed, have a collective responsibility to support and develop the principles of human dignity, and equality both in their own countries and internationally.
In this regard I welcome the result of the OEWG that has been successfully projected the vision of addressing the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP). The final objective of its works is achieve a fair, equitable and transparent mechanism that covers both the sharing of biological material as well as the sharing of benefits derived from it. I hope the final agreement will be reached in the near future in order to be able to see the effective works of the PIP Framework.
Finally, I emphasize that through the revitalization of our primary healthcare services and through health system reform, we sincerely hope that our objective to provide equal access to healthcare facilities and to improve the quality of health of all Indonesians can be met. In turn, global population will be better off in their health status.
Geneva, May 17, 2010