Martine Deprez congratulates Portugal for its report on the Universal Health Examination and health emergency preparedness

The Minister of Health and Social Security, Martine Deprez, recently took part in Portugal's first peer review as part of the Universal Health and Preparedness Review (UHPR). This initiative, launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has been supported by Luxembourg since its conception in 2021.

©WHO/Antoine Tardy Group photo
Group photo

The UHPR is a voluntary and transparent mechanism led by the Member States, aimed at establishing a regular intergovernmental dialogue on national health emergency preparedness capacities. This innovative platform promotes collective action at national and global level, respecting the principles of equal treatment and mutual responsibility.

During the review, which took place in Geneva on 13 and 14 February, Minister Martine Deprez congratulated Portugal on the remarkable quality of its report and the exemplary work it had accomplished, despite the COVID-19 crisis that was still very much in evidence at the time. This first review, which also included country reports from the Central African Republic and Thailand, highlights best practice, gaps and key challenges in health security, health system resilience and universal health coverage.

Martine Deprez highlighted a number of positive aspects of Portugal's response to the crisis, including good links with the relevant international bodies, a willingness to adapt the legislative framework and a well-functioning healthcare system, illustrated in particular by an excellent vaccination rate.

The trip to Geneva was also an opportunity to meet Dr Tedros, Director-General of the WHO, for the first time.

On the fringes of this review, the Minister also had the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings. She met Dr Jérôme Salomon, Deputy Director for Noncommunicable Diseases, Universal Health Coverage and Communicable Diseases at the WHO. At this meeting, they shared the analysis that effective universal health coverage is essential, while stressing the importance of better health education to prevent addiction and mental health problems among children and adolescents.

The following day, she had a meeting with Ruth Dreifuss, member of the World Commission on Drugs, to discuss drug policies, in particular the pilot trials on cannabis in Switzerland.

The review of Portugal is of great importance to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, providing a concrete example of methodology for the initial phase of the review and the organisation of a visit with a view to a future review in Luxembourg. Minister Martine Deprez said that Luxembourg would no doubt draw inspiration from the methodology used by Portugal for its own forthcoming review. With this in mind, the Minister met Margarida Tavares, Portugal's Secretary of State for Health Promotion, a valuable meeting for the planning of the Luxembourg review exercise.

Press release by the Ministry of Health and Social Security

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