Ministry of Health (Timor-Leste)
The health problems are not solely falls within the health sector boundaries and responsibility. In fact the factors that affects the health status of the population is varies such as education, household income, housing, food, water and sanitation, environment matters are the most important determinants of health. The Ministry of Health is aware of this variety of determinants of the health status and has assumed from its inception a vision that implies a broad definition of health.
"Healthy East Timorese people in a healthy East Timor"
By means of this mission statement, the Ministry of Health envisages a Timorese community enjoying a level of health that will allow them to develop all their potentialities in a healthy environment. The fact that the vision implies a healthy East Timor means that sectors other than health should contribute to reach the point that this vision foresees as a (multisectoral approach to health's problem).
The vision also reflects an aim to reduce poverty to a point where the level of production and income allows all Timorese individuals to enjoy a healthy life and to have the minimum means to cover basic needs. A healthy community will be better abled to address poverty issues.
From the perspective of the Ministry of Health, the values underlying this vision involve a great commitment to equity and cultural sensitivity through behaviours based on ethics, solidarity and friendshipness.
Equity is understood as distribution of health resources according to need. To ensure equity in health it is necessary to relate access and utilization of health care to needs. Equity is also related to equality. There is evidence of differences in disease burden among different geographic areas (within or between countries), ethics groups, occupation, employment status, different income groups or different sexes. It is recognised that access inequality is both socially unacceptable and potentially damaging to health status.
Cultural sensitivity is referred to as being aware that cultural differences and similarities exist and have an effect on values, learning processes and behaviours. Being responsive to the local history, culture or the environment where health services and interventions are provided increases community trust an acceptance of the health system. At times such values may be harmful and it is only through a thoughtful and respectful approach that a strategy for alternative solution can be successfully implemented. In East Timor, cultural diversity is high as are the different perceptions of health and disease and variety of health care seeking behaviours. In order to find appropriate approaches to these problems, cultural sensitivity is required in all decision made.
As stated in the East Timor Constitution, health and medical care is a right of every Timorese and the Ministry of Health has the obligation of protect and promote that right. The system is universal, general and depending of the possibilities of the State, free of charge. The management of the system will be decentralised and participatory.
In consistent with the vision statement, the Mission of the Ministry of Health is to strive to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of health services to all East Timorese people, to regulate the health sector and to promote community and stakeholders participation as well as other sector.
The overall goals
Based on these three mission's components (ensuring availability, regulating and promoting participation) the Ministry of Health expects to contribute to the overall goal of improving the health status of East Timorese.
The Ministry of Health aims to provide quality health care to East Timorese by establishing and developing a cost-effective and needs-based health system which will specially address the health issues and problems of women, children and other vulnerable groups, particularly the poor, in a participatory way.See more