The annual HTAi Meeting is inaugurated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil's Minister for Health, Alexandre Padilla, inaugurated the eighth annual meeting of the International Society for the Promotion of Health Technology Assessment (HTAi). A delegation made up of the Director for Knowledge Management and Evaluation of the Department for Health and Consumer Affairs, Dr José Asua Batarrita, and researchers from the Health Technology Assessment Service, Osteba, are to participate in the meeting, wherein Bilbao features as the host of the 2012 Meeting.
Along with the Brazilian minister, the inauguration of the act was overseen by Laura Sampietro-Colom. President of HTAi; Alvaro Atallah, Brazil's Co-chair for HTAi's International Scientific Program; Carlos Gadelha, Brazil's Secretary for Science, Technology and Strategic Consumables; Luiz Odorico Monteiro, Brazil's Secretary for Strategic and Participative Management; and Diego Victoria, of the Brazilian section of the Pan American Health Organisation.
"At the point where the Minister of Health has the objective of extending access with quality to all Brazilians, it is fundamental that we make advances in the debate revolving around the strengthening of research initiatives, development and innovation within health," the Minister explained.
He went on to state: "In this edition of the annual HTAi meeting, the central theme is the sustainability of health systems, which are undergoing change such as the rise in demand resulting from the ageing of the population and the incorporation of new technologies, albeit at high cost, that are capable of providing treatment in the case of chronic illnesses."
For his part, Luiz Odorico Monteiro explained that "at this crossroads of increase in healthcare demand, we must make a collective reflection on the health model that we wish to introduce. On the one hand, we have a liberal model based on the provision of health services in a private manner and, on the other, a system based on the European model, where public healthcare systems are the norm, maintained via tax collection. In Brazil, we opted for a universal and public healthcare system, coordinating with the private initiative."
During the presentation of the Basque Government's stand at the Meeting, Dr Asua drew particular attention to "the importance of the assessment of healthcare technologies to afford tools that facilitate decision-making within healthcare systems." This is particularly relevant in the context of the Basque Country, where the strategy for attending to chronic illnesses entails a move towards new manners of organising services and the incorporation of innovative technological and organisational opportunities within healthcare.
Over the three days taken in by the Meeting the Department of Health's stand will provide comprehensive information on the meeting set to take place in Bilbao next year to the 1100 participants who have travelled to Rio de Janeiro from all corners of the earth.