Health Minister and Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman is to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) meeting.

“I will be leaving tomorrow for the 70th WHA in Geneva, Switzerland, where I will vote for the next World Health Organisation Director General,” says Dr Coleman.

“New Zealand will have an important role to play in this assembly with our officials taking a lead role in several key areas.

“Our officials have successfully led a group of countries to have rheumatic heart disease included on the agenda, and are leading the development of a resolution which will be considered in early June.

“New Zealand will also host the Pacific Health Minister’s Breakfast. This is an opportunity to network with Pacific Health Ministers to progress issues of priority for the region on the global stage.

“During the assembly I will also attend the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ meeting. This year the focus will be on sustainable financing of universal health coverage.

“This Government has made health funding a priority, with an extra $568 million invested into the health sector for 2016/2017, taking the health budget to a record $16.1 billion.”

Dr Coleman is also to attend the WADA Foundation Board meeting in Montréal, Canada, as a Public Authority Representative for Oceania.

“The WADA has an important role in setting the rules and ensuring they are followed around the world,” says Dr Coleman.

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