Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog held bilateral talks with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the Health Ministers of Poland, Romania and Slovakia on the sidelines of the 67th session of the World Health Organisation’s Regional Committee for Europe in Budapest.

At his introductory meeting, the WHO Director-General praised Hungary’s achievements within the field of public health, including efforts to reduce smoking, and within the areas of healthy public catering and daily physical education in schools.

DownloadPhoto: Gyula Bartos

Mr. Balog stressed the importance of long-term cooperation between the WHO and the Hungarian Government, and thanked the Director-General for having chosen Budapest as the venue for the session of the Regional Committee for Europe out of 53 possible member states.

DownloadPhoto: Gyula Bartos

During his meeting with Polish Health Minister Konstanty Radziwiłł, the parties discussed the issue of better access to affordable, effective and innovative medicines and agreed that cooperation between neighbouring Central European countries can result in major savings for the citizens of those countries. An expert working group will meet to discuss the issue in September, and in November a ministerial-level working group will convene in Hungary with the participation of Visegrád Group (V4) countries.

DownloadPhoto: Gyula BartosMr. Balog also met with Romanian Health Minister Florian Bodog, with whom he agreed to develop a more efficient cooperation within the field of protecting against epidemics. “Vaccine coverage in Hungary is at almost 99%, which is a unique achievement even by European standards, and which is also recognised by the WHO”, the Hungarian Minister said. Mr. Balog also assured his Romanian counterpart that Hungary is open to cooperation on sharing Hungarian best practices with relation to lung transplants.

The Minister of Human Capacities also held talks with Slovakian Health Minister Dr. Tomáš Drucker. Similarly to his Polish colleague, the Slovakian Minister also called for joint action with relating to procuring innovative pharmaceuticals, and suggested that Hungary also wake part in the two-day workshop in Bratislava which, in addition to the topic, will also include on its agenda the best practices of the Hungarian healthcare system.

DownloadPhoto: Gyula Bartos

The parties agreed that V4 cooperation, which according to the Ministers has never before been so strong, is also of key importance within the field of healthcare.

“We are counting on the solidarity of our Central European partners”, the Minister of Human Capacities said following his meetings.

(Ministry of Human Capacities)