Report of the Regional Director

         The Regional Committee,

         Recalling resolutions WPR/RC50.R3 on reform in the Western Pacific Region, WPR/RC53.R6 on ethical issues related to new developments in the health sector, and WPR/RC53.R7 on essential public health functions;

         Having considered the report of the Regional Director entitled The Work of WHO in the Western Pacific Region: 1 July 2002 – 30 June 2003* and noted the major directions for the next five years contained in the Regional Director's address to the Regional Committee;

         Appreciating the improvements that have been made to the report over the past five years;

         Recognizing that Member States views on the report should be sought in order to ensure the most appropriate coverage, form and content;

         Aware of the many health inequities that remain in the Western Pacific Region;

         Concerned about emerging challenges to health, including new diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the continuing threat from other communicable diseases, and rising levels of noncommunicable diseases throughout the Region;

         Acknowledging that significant health advances have been made in the Western Pacific Region over the past 50 years and that the quality of health services now needs to be addressed, taking into account such issues as the physical and psychological needs of patients, patient safety, and social and environmental factors;

  1. THANKS the Regional Director for his report;
  2. REQUESTS Member States:
    (1) to work with WHO to address health inequities and to ensure that health gains are enjoyed by previously underserved populations;
    (2) to build up health systems that are capable of carrying out essential public health functions and of responding to new challenges;
    (3) to ensure that health policies lead to improvements in the quality of health care and that they take account of such issues as human dignity, patients' rights and needs, and the role of families, culture, and society;
  3. REQUESTS the Regional Director:
    (1) to work with Member States to encourage the integration of principles of equity and fairness into health policies;
    (2) to continue to work with Member States to strengthen health systems;
    (3) to support Member States to improve the quality of health care and ensure that broader psychological, social, ethical and cultural determinants of health are taken into account;
    (4) to seek the views of Member States on the form and content of his annual report.

* WPR/RC54/2

08 September 2003

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