Initiative would contribute to health systems through communication technologies and will be taken up at the PAHO Directing Council
The Member States of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) have agreed to develop a Regional Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth which will be presented in the 51st Directing Council of the Pan American Health Organization, and whose purpose is to contribute to the sustainable development of the Member States’ health systems through the use of communication technologies.
The goal of adopting the Regional Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth is to improve access to quality health services through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), the training of health workers through digital literacy programs, and the implementation of methods that will further movement toward societies that are more informed, equitable, competitive, and democratic. In this type of society, access to health information should be a basic right.
By facilitating access to knowledge and technology, eHealth has shown that it can improve the quality of life. In Latin America and the Caribbean, inequalities in access to health services persist as a consequence of a number of factors that limit the possibility of receiving good quality medical care early on. These factors include lack of human resources, infrastructure, equipment, and medicines and the physical and cultural distance between public services and the population requesting the services, in addition to low income. Income level, geographical location, and ethnic origin are determinants of the vulnerability and exclusion of millions of households in the Region.
The strategy adheres to the principles and values spelled out in the Health Agenda for the Americas (2008-2017): a) human rights; b) universality; c) access and inclusion; d) Pan American solidarity; e) equity in health; and f) social participation.
Furthermore, by contributing to an improvement in people’s quality of life, the eHealth strategy is an essential requirement for meeting the targets of the HYPERLINK "http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/"Millennium Development Goals , especially Target 8.F, which says: “In cooperation with the private sector, make available benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.”
This strategy, adopted at the 58th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization, is based on Resolution WHA58.28 (2005), which lays the foundations for the WHO eHealth strategy.