Minister Currie Chairs Successful Health Minister’s Conference in Quebec City

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
For immediate release

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI

Provincial and territorial health ministers met recently in Quebec City to discuss access, quality and safety issues in sustaining their publicly funded health systems.“We talked about our progress and common interests in some key areas such as affordable drugs, pandemic preparedness, e-health and Fabry’s disease research,” says Health Minister Doug Currie, chair of the provincial-territorial conference. “Provinces and territories believe these initiatives require federal commitments including the need for the federal government to be a funding partner.”

On day two of the conference, provincial and territorial ministers met with federal Health Minister Tony Clement. “We had good discussions and heard positive signals from Minister Clement that they would re-engage and continue working with the provinces and territories on these key initiatives,” said Minister Currie.

The national pharmaceutical strategy, which focuses on protecting Canadians against catastrophic drug expenses and support for people with rare diseases, was a key area of discussion at the meetings. “We need federal support to advance a catastrophic drug plan and Minister Clement agreed to put this back on the national agenda, which is essential for provinces and territories, including PEI, to make further progress on this important initiative,” said Minister Currie.

Ministers also talked about the importance of health promotion and of chronic disease prevention and management in improving the health of Canadians. Additionally, Carolyn Bertram, PEI Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, attended the conference to discuss physical activity as a key determinant of health and gave a presentation on the Pan-Canadian Physical Activity Targets for Children and Youth.

“I was very happy to have this opportunity to meet with the federal, provincial and territorial Health ministers and to demonstrate why physical inactivity is a critical public health issue and why children and youth need our focus and attention at this time,” said Minister Bertram. “We must continue to build on existing efforts, learn from best practices and commit to working on this across all provinces and territories. We must also engage and work in partnership with non-governmental organizations, Aboriginal stakeholders, learning institutions and the private sector if we are to be successful.”

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Media Contact: Darlene Gillis

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