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World Health Organisation Regional Committee Meeting Held In Budapest

By Robert Velkey // 2017.09.11.

The health of Hungarians has “in general been improving”, similarly to the whole of Europe, but the country still has a ways to go, the World Health Organisation’s regional director for Europe said on Saturday.

Improving the health of citizens and health-care systems, as well as ensuring equal access to health-care services, will be the main topics of the WHO’s upcoming regional committee meeting held in Budapest between September 11-14, Hungary’s Zsuzsanna Jakab told public news channel M1. The meeting brings together around 600 representatives of 53 WHO member states, she said.

Participants include Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s new director general, as well as the Crown Princess of Denmark, a patron of WHO Europe and Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece, among others.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán also attended the WHO’s regional committee meeting, where he said an urgent response is needed to stop demographic decline in Europe, but added that the problem needs to be resolved through the strengthening of family policies rather than through migration.  Speaking at the opening of the four-day meeting, Orbán said Hungary’s position on mass migration is that it needs to be stopped at its place of origin. He also claimed that Europe has all the means to launch targeted health schemes for areas where they are most needed.

He briefed participants about Hungary’s current action plan for workplace protection, demographics and public health. The first aims to eliminate unemployment, the second to ensure biological reproduction and the third to fight smoking and unhealthy foods. Orbán argued that Hungary stands with the WHO, saying “you can rely on us and we would like to think we can rely on you in the future.”

Viktor Orbán greeted the WHO’s new director general in the Parliament of Hungary on Monday as well. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organisation, welcomed Hungary’s public health policy measures such as the fight against smoking, the efforts to promote healthy eating, and the introduction of daily physical education classes in schools. Viktor Orbán said cooperation between Hungary and the WHO was “excellent”, adding that the two sides were keen on continuing their partnership in the future and expanding it with additional joint policy measures.


photos: Szilárd Koszticsák / MTI