78th SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
ADDRESS BY HONOURABLE MINISTER TAABETA AMUERA
High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage – 21 SEPTEMBER 2023
Mr. Chair, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
This auspicious gathering provides us, as world leaders, with an exceptional platform to reaffirm our collective commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage by the year 2030. It is a moment for us to reflect on our shared vision for delivering health for all and to chart a roadmap towards accelerating our progress in this noble endeavor.
Together, we can ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of health and wellbeing for our global family.
In the case of Kiribati, the geographical distribution of our islands has presented us with a unique set of challenges in our ongoing struggle to achieve Universal Health Coverage. Our commitment to this goal is unwavering, and we are taking concrete steps to address these challenges.
First and foremost, our priority lies in planning and coordinating our resources to ensure that every island and every healthcare facility in our nation is well-equipped and adequately staffed to provide quality health services. We have initiated an ambitious program to renovate and refurbish our healthcare facilities, beginning with those on islands where healthcare infrastructure has been worn down or non-existent,
especially in rural areas.
Currently, we have 28 clinics undergoing renovation and refurbishment, incorporating innovative and sustainable technologies. These efforts extend to our main referral hospital and are set to target the other three main hospitals across our islands, ultimately reducing the burden on essential healthcare service provision and enhancing data communication to our central health system.
In Kiribati, we boast a total of 119 healthcare facilities, including 33 health centers operating as mini hospitals in rural and outer island areas. These are the lifelines of health for our people, and we are committed to their strengthening and expansion.
As a nation at the forefront of climate change impacts, we recognize the importance of building resilience in our infrastructure and health systems. We are working in close collaboration with developmental partners and donors to construct resilient infrastructure and data systems, which will enable the availability, accessibility, and sustainability of essential health services. Timely information sharing is vital for informed decision-making, particularly in times of crisis.
Moreover, alongside our infrastructure development efforts, capacity building for our healthcare workers remains a top priority. We are dedicated to providing them with the necessary training and resources to ensure the provision of quality healthcare services and the maintenance of accessible essential medications.
In parallel, we are committed to ensuring the provision of essential healthcare packages that are not only accessible but also sustainable for our population. To this end, we have initiated consultations and planning for the revision of our National Health Strategic Plan 2020-2023, aligning our key health priorities with Kiribati’s vision for the next two decades, which is firmly in line with the global Sustainable Development Goals.
Excellencies, we believe that every nation, regardless of its size or location, has a vital role to play in achieving Universal Health Coverage.
In Kiribati, we are dedicated to this noble cause, and we stand ready to collaborate with our fellow nations, stakeholders, and the international community to make this vision a reality. Together, we can ensure that no one is left behind, and that health truly becomes a universal right for all.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and may this High-Level Meeting pave the way for a healthier and more equitable future for our world.–ENDS
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