Helena Mas, Secretary of State for Health, was in Montenegro this week for the eighth high-level meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Initiative of Small States. A gathering of ministers and secretaries of state from Europe’s small countries is convening on this occasion to discuss how to improve health and well-being.
Mas took part in two round tables, where he shared the Andorran health system’s strategies, particularly those aimed at strengthening it in order to prevent and prepare for other pandemic-like situations, with the other participants.
The Secretary of State presented some of the covid management conclusions, as well as the Principality’s decisions to keep the health pressure as low as possible. Mas, in particular, recalled that the government adopted a hybrid approach to vaccine supply and receipt, sourcing them from both neighbouring countries and the Covax initiative. To date, he claims that nearly 85 percent of the population has received the full vaccine guidelines.
Still speaking of relations with other countries, particularly neighbours, he stated that the good neighbour framework enabled excellent coordination and cooperation, allowing for collaboration in all areas of health. She mentioned a patient from La Seu d’Urgell who needed mechanical ventilation and was admitted to and treated at Our Lady of Meritxell Hospital.
Similarly, Mas emphasized the public’s willingness to comply with the authorities’ preventive measures and recommendations in dealing with the pandemic, particularly in its early stages. In this regard, the Secretary of State stated that in order to provide the most information to the public, a constant and direct communication strategy with the public, including daily press conferences, was chosen. As a result, he emphasized, citizens, demonstrated great confidence and co-responsibility at all times, allowing the Principality to maintain a high level of alertness at all times.
Finally, a Ministry of Health representative participated in a second round table discussion, this time on how to promote sustainable and healthy tourism. As a result, Mas emphasized that, as Tourism Minister Jordi Torres stated a few months ago at the country’s 11th World Congress of Snow and Mountain Tourism, it is necessary to bet on a model based on quality, synonymous with the territory, and that incorporates sustainability, security, and respect into its value.