Small countries of Europe invite Seychelles to annual meeting |06 June 2022
Minister for Health Peggy Vidot and principal secretary, Dr Bernard Valentin, were the only two non-European health officials present in person at the eighth annual high-level meeting of small countries of Europe which took place in Becici, Montenegro from June 2-3, 2022.
Ministers and senior health officials from Andorra, Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Slovenia and Seychelles shared experiences on managing difficult health policy issues. Of these countries, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino have much smaller populations than Seychelles.
“We exchanged diverse opinions on leadership and governance in small health systems for better emergency preparedness and response, health security, health workforce strengthening, health systems financing and the ever more important relationship between health and sustainable tourism,” said Minister Vidot.
The discussion on the link between health and tourism was further enriched through video link by a representative of the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
“European small states were particularly interested in learning how Seychelles managed the Covid-19 pandemic. Likewise, it was refreshing to learn from their own experience and to hear that their challenges and ours are similar,” added the minister.
Organised by the European Regional Office of the World Health Organisation and the Government of Montenegro, the meeting ended with a consensus statement, dubbed the Montenegro Statement of Health Ministers.
“We took the opportunity of the meeting to also hold bilateral talks in the area of health worker training with Cyprus and Malta, which are also two English-speaking countries of the Commonwealth,” further added Minister Vidot.
Press release from the Ministry of Health