G7 health ministers confirm importance of making vaccines, drugs more accessible

The Group of Seven health ministers have confirmed the importance of efforts to increase access to vaccines and treatment drugs globally based on the experience of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministers began two days of talks on Saturday in the southwestern Japanese city of Nagasaki.

Japan's health minister Kato Katsunobu said in his opening remarks as the meeting's chair that building a resilient health system during normal times is conducive to responding to emergencies.

He expressed hope that with the aim of collaborating for a healthier future, the G7 ministers will discuss prevention, preparedness and responses for public health emergencies and present directions and actions to take.

On the first day, the ministers agreed that it is important to make vaccines, treatment drugs and test kits more accessible to countries, including developing nations, ahead of any new pandemic. They confirmed that they will make good use of a fund set up last year to deal with future pandemics.

The ministers are expected to confirm that they will promote universal health coverage to provide quality health and medical services to everyone.

Ahead of the meeting, G7 finance and health ministers held a joint online meeting. They agreed on the need to build a system to quickly provide necessary funds in the event of a pandemic.