The annual meeting of G20 health ministers took place on Sunday, 19 April. Switzerland took part in the video conference at the invitation of Saudi Arabia, which holds the G20 presidency this year.
Discussions focused on the current health emergency, namely the coronavirus pandemic. The G20 countries, and indeed Switzerland, stressed the importance of combining efforts to fight against the disease. In this respect, Switzerland reaffirmed the key role of the World Health Organization (WHO) in managing and coordinating the international response to pandemics.
“The fight against COVID-19 requires international solidarity and a global response. This threat can only be dealt with by working together”, stressed Federal Councillor Alain Berset. Cooperation between countries is proving to be essential in better managing health risks, as well as in developing a vaccine and ensuring the production and supply of vital medical products and personal protection equipment in the fight against COVID-19. International coordination is also indispensable with regard to mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic.
In terms of the current crisis, Switzerland emphasises the need to ensure robust healthcare systems and to guarantee universal healthcare coverage in such emergency situations so that all patients are able to receive the care they need.
Patient safety is also a priority of Saudi Arabia’s G20 presidency, an issue to which Switzerland is particularly committed. The COVID-19 pandemic clearly shows the importance of infection prevention and control.
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