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Israel, World Health Organization (WHO) to establish digital health center

WHO European conference taking place this week in Israel for first time

Israeli President Isaac Herzog opens the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe, in Tel Aviv, Sep. 12, 2022 (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

Israel will be working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish and promote a digital health center.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog announced the initiative at the opening of the WHO’s three-day conference of its European representatives in Tel Aviv – the first time the meeting has been hosted in Israel.

“Israel is home to countless trailblazing med-tech and health-tech start-ups, pushing the bounds of human imagination. Together with European and international institutions, we can develop the breakthroughs that will enable people to live healthier and longer lives,” Herzog said. “In this vein, I am happy to announce that Israel will be working with the WHO to establish a cutting-edge center for digital health, bringing top-quality and innovative care to every corner of the world.”

The three-day conference, taking place Monday through Wednesday, brings representatives of 53 member states of the WHO’s European Regional Committee and the organization’s chairman, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to the Tel Aviv Hilton Hotel.

In addition to digital health, pandemic preparedness, the effects of long-COVID and "building back better" are among some of the topics to be discussed, according to a promotional video on the WHO’s Facebook page and a copy of the schedule.

Herzog also had some criticism for the world body saying that the “biased and politicized resolutions” which single out Israel at the World Health Assembly – similar to the United Nations – have to stop.

“Such resolutions, based on falsehoods and ulterior motives, damage the work and reputation of this distinguished body, while negatively impacting on health cooperation in the region,” he said.

Nevertheless, the WHO's first in-person conference of this kind since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely feature more cooperation than controversy. The Health Ministry said that this week Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz is expected to sign bilateral cooperation deals with officials from other countries this week.

Horowitz called the conference "really important for the country and its health system."

“The policies we implemented over the past year and the performance of the Israeli healthcare system in the fight against the coronavirus have truly stood out on the world stage,” Horowitz said in a statement.

At least two Israeli lawyers issued a letter to the Ministry of Health requesting to see copies of the agreements before they are signed and added that Israelis have a right to know what is being considered before any agreements are signed.

Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

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