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WHO’s Global Digital Health Certification Network

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Remember when the World Health Organization was an offshoot of the United Nations serving impoverished nations around the world?  Well that’s over. The World Health Organization is looking to get ‘way’ more involved in your business. This week, the World Health Organization and the European Union announced they have partnered up to create a global digital vaccine passport system for future pandemics.  Get ready for a new and permanent vaccine passport.
In their own words, the Global Digital Health Certification Network builds on the success of the EU’s digital vaccine passport from the COVID pandemic. “With 80 countries and territories connected to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, the EU has set a global standard. The EU certificate has not only been an important tool in our fight against the pandemic, but has also facilitated international travel and tourism. I am pleased that the WHO will build on the privacy-preserving principles and cutting-edge technology of the EU certificate to create a global tool against future pandemics” Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market.
Reading between the lines, the passport… er Global Digital Health Certification Network, will be used to ‘facilitate’ travel and tourism.  But that’s not all.  The press release goes on to reveal the WHO’s plan is not just to track your vaccine status when the next pandemic strikes, but “This partnership will work to technically develop the WHO system with a staged approach to cover additional use cases, which may include, for example, the digitisation of the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. Expanding such digital solutions will be essential to deliver better health for citizens across the globe.”
As British Health Researcher Dr. John Campbell explains, the plan is for the Global Digital Health Certificate to monitor the health status of everyone on the planet, and use this information to “facilitate global mobility”.  In other words there are plans to use your health status to determine your ability to travel, and to participate in other aspects of regular life.

 

With notes from the World Health Organization website,  Dr. John Campbell explains the WHO’s Global Digital Health Certification Network.  To see the WHO’s press release click here or scroll below the video where it is attached.


From the youtube channel of   Dr. John Campbell

Press release from the World Health Organization

The European Commission and WHO launch landmark digital health initiative to strengthen global health security

5 June 2023

News release
Geneva/Brussels
Reading time: 3 min (815 words)

The World Health Organization (WHO) and European Commission have announced today the launch of a landmark digital health partnership.

In June 2023, WHO will take up the European Union (EU) system of digital COVID-19 certification to establish a global system that will help facilitate global mobility and protect citizens across the world from on-going and future health threats, including pandemics. This is the first building block of the WHO Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN) that will develop a wide range of digital products to deliver better health for all.

“Building on the EU’s highly successful digital certification network, WHO aims to offer all WHO Member States access to an open-source digital health tool, which is based on the principles of equity, innovation, transparency and data protection and privacy,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “New digital health products in development aim to help people everywhere receive quality health services quickly and more effectively”.

Based on the EU Global Health Strategy and WHO Global strategy on digital health, the initiative follows the 30 November 2022 agreement between Commissioner Kyriakides and Dr Tedros to enhance strategic cooperation on global health issues. This further bolsters a robust multilateral system with WHO at its core, powered by a strong EU.

“This partnership is an important step for the digital action plan of the EU Global Health Strategy. By using European best practices we contribute to digital health standards and interoperability globally—to the benefit of those most in need. It is also a powerful example of how alignment between the EU and the WHO can deliver better health for all, in the EU and across the world. As the directing and coordinating authority on international health work, there is no better partner than the WHO to advance the work we started at the EU and further develop global digital health solutions,” said Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.

This partnership will include close collaboration in the development, management and implementation of the WHO GDHCN system, benefitting from the European Commission’s ample technical expertise in the field. A first step is to ensure that the current EU digital certificates continue to function effectively.

“With 80 countries and territories connected to the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate, the EU has set a global standard. The EU certificate has not only been an important tool in our fight against the pandemic, but has also facilitated international travel and tourism. I am pleased that the WHO will build on the privacy-preserving principles and cutting-edge technology of the EU certificate to create a global tool against future pandemics,” added Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market.

A global WHO system building on EU legacy

One of the key elements in the European Union’s work against the COVID-19 pandemic has been digital COVID-19 certificates. To facilitate free movement within its borders, the EU swiftly established interoperable COVID-19 certificates (entitled ‘EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate’ or ‘EU DCC’). Based on open-source technologies and standards it allowed also for the connection of non-EU countries that issue certificates according to EU DCC specifications, becoming the most widely used solution around the world.

From the onset of the pandemic, WHO engaged with all WHO Regions to define overall guidelines for such certificates. To help strengthen global health preparedness in the face of growing health threats, WHO is establishing a global digital health certification network which builds upon the solid foundations of the EU DCC framework, principles and open technologies. With this collaboration, WHO will facilitate this process globally under its own structure with the aim to allow the world to benefit from convergence of digital certificates. This includes standard-setting and validation of digital signatures to prevent fraud. In doing so, WHO will not have access to any underlying personal data, which would continue to be the exclusive domain of governments.

The first building block of the global WHO system becomes operational in June 2023 and aims to be progressively developed in the coming months.

A long-term digital partnership to deliver better health for all

To facilitate the uptake of the EU DCC by WHO and contribute to its operation and further development, WHO and the European Commission have agreed to partner in digital health.

This partnership will work to technically develop the WHO system with a staged approach to cover additional use cases, which may include, for example, the digitisation of the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. Expanding such digital solutions will be essential to deliver better health for citizens across the globe.

This cooperation is based on the shared values and principles of transparency and openness, inclusiveness, accountability, data protection and privacy, security, scalability at a global level, and equity. The WHO and the European Commission will work together to encourage maximum global uptake and participation. Particular attention will be paid to equitable opportunities for the participation by those most in need: low and middle-income countries.


Dr. John Campbell’s Presentation notes:

WHO’s Global Digital Health Certification Network https://www.who.int/initiatives/globa…

WHO has established the Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN). Open-source platform, built on robust & transparent standards, that establishes the first building block of digital public health infrastructure, for developing a wide range of digital products, for strengthening pandemic preparedness

Background Member States used digital COVID-19 test and vaccine certificates As the directing and coordinating authority on international health work, at the onset of the pandemic, WHO engaged with all WHO Regions to define overall guidance for such certificates and published the Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates

https://www.who.int/publications/i/it… https://www.who.int/publications/i/it… there is a recognition of an existing gap, and continued need for a global mechanism, that can support bilateral verification of the provenance of health documents

The GDHCN may include Digitisation of the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, verification of prescriptions across borders

International Patient Summary Verification of vaccination certificates within and across borders Certification of public health professionals (through WHO Academy) Expanding such digital solutions will be essential to deliver better health for people across the globe.

The GDHCN has been designed to be interoperable with other existing regional networks EU-WHO digital partnership https://www.who.int/news/item/05-06-2…    • LIVE: WHO and @EU…   https://commission.europa.eu/strategy… WHO and the European Commission have agreed to partner in digital health.

This partnership will work to technically develop the WHO system with a staged approach to cover additional use cases, In June 2023, WHO will take up the European Union (EU) system of digital COVID-19 certification to establish a global system, that will help facilitate global mobility

This is the first building block of the WHO Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN)

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus WHO aims to offer all WHO Member States access, On the principles of equity, innovation, transparency and data protection and privacy Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

This partnership is an important step for the digital action plan of the EU Global Health Strategy, we contribute to digital health standards and interoperability globally

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market The EU certificate … has also facilitated international travel and tourism I am pleased that the WHO will build on …. cutting-edge technology … to create a global tool against future pandemics

One of the key elements in the European Union’s work against the COVID-19 pandemic has been digital COVID-19 certificates. WHO will facilitate this process globally under its own structure … allow the world to benefit from convergence of digital certificates. Expanding such digital solutions will be essential to deliver better health for citizens across the globe.

The WHO and the European Commission will work together to encourage maximum global uptake and participation.

 

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Addictions

Canadian doctor admits gov’t-funded ‘safe supply’ drugs are likely diverted to children

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Dr. Andrea Sereda addresses Moms Stop the Harm online.

From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Dr. Andrea Sereda, an advocate for the safe supply program, had previously denied that kids could get access to the opioids.

A “safe supply” drug advocate has admitted that children probably use drugs diverted from government programs. 

During an annual general meeting of Moms Stop the Harm (MSTH), an advocacy group that champions radical harm-reduction policies, Dr. Andrea Sereda, a prominent Canadian advocate for the “safe supply” drug program, revealed that kids are likely using diverted opioids. 

“I’m not going to stand up here and say that some kids, some adolescents, are not accessing diverted safe supply and using diverted safe supply,” she declared during the June 1 meeting.  

“Kids experiment with everything, and we need to be honest to ourselves that kids probably experiment with diverted safer supply as well,” Sereda continued.   

Safe supply” is a euphemism for government-provided drugs given to addicts under the assumption that a more controlled batch of narcotics reduces the risk of overdose. Critics of the policy argue that giving addicts drugs only enables their behavior, puts the public at risk, disincentivizes recovery from addiction and has not reduced – and sometimes has even increased – overdose deaths when implemented. 

Sereda even gave the phenomenon of children using diverted “safe supply drugs” a positive spin, claiming that one parent told her these drugs kept her child alive “longer” than expected.   

I met a parent about a year ago who had lost their child to a fentanyl overdose,” she said. “This parent approached me, and they told me that their child had been using safe supply given them to them by a friend.” 

“I thought this parent was going to be angry with me, but that parent told me that that diverted safe supply had kept their child (…)  alive longer than the otherwise [they] would have been,” she continued.  

Sereda has been a strong advocate for the program and founded Canada’s first safer supply program in 2016 at the London InterCommunity Health Centre (LIHC) in London, Ontario. 

In May 2023, she told the London Free Press that, “Not a single physician critic of safer supply has been able to provide us with an example of medications being sold to children. This seems to be the boogeyman of safer supply. It is silly.” 

Similarly, Sereda told the House of Commons health committee in February that there is no evidence that children are taking the “safe supply” drugs.  

“Do you agree that it’s possible that diverted opioids are ending up in the hands of people they aren’t prescribed to, or even children? Yes or no?” asked Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Todd Doherty. 

​”We have no evidence that they (safer supply hydromorphone tablets) are ending up in the hands of children,” Sereda responded.  

Later, Conservative MP Laila Goodridge asked the same question, and Sereda answered, “They’re not being sold to kids.” 

RELATED: Trudeau gov’t earmarks over $27 million for ‘safe supply’ drug program linked to overdoses and violence

However, it may be that Sereda tells a different story when she believes she is not being recorded, as her remarks to the meeting seem to suggest.

During the meeting, she congratulated the Drug User Liberation Front’s distribution of “unadulterated crystal meth and cocaine.” 

“If physicians could prescribe that, and this is where I’m afraid there’s a mole like on that other Zoom call earlier this week, right? But if physicians could prescribe crystal meth and cocaine, I think we would actually start to get somewhere,” she said, apparently referring to a National Post article, which published secret audio recordings from activists planning to disrupt a recovery-oriented addiction conference in Vancouver.  

It is unclear why Sereda would not know the meeting was being recorded; that it would be captured and downloaded to YouTube was made clear in the opening remarks.

Notably, Sereda’s admission comes after the program was deemed such a disaster in British Columbia that the province asked Trudeau recriminalize drugs in public spaces. Nearly two weeks later, the Trudeau government announced it would “immediately” end the province’s drug program. 

Beginning in early 2023, Trudeau’s federal policy in effect decriminalized hard drugs on a trial-run basis in British Columbia. 

Under the policy, the federal government allowed people within the province to possess up to 2.5 grams of hard drugs without criminal penalty. Selling drugs remained a crime. 

Since its implementation, the province’s drug policy has been widely criticized, especially after it was found that the province broke three different drug-related overdose records in the first month the new law was in effect. 

The effects of decriminalizing hard drugs in various parts of Canada have been exposed in Aaron Gunn’s recent documentary, Canada is Dying, and in the U.K. Telegraph journalist Steven Edginton’s mini-documentary, Canada’s Woke Nightmare: A Warning to the West. 

Gunn says he documents the “general societal chaos and explosion of drug use in every major Canadian city.” 

“Overdose deaths are up 1,000 percent in the last 10 years,” he said in his film, adding that “(e)very day in Vancouver four people are randomly attacked.” 

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Fraser Institute

Enough talk, we need to actually do something about Canadian health care

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From the Macdonald Laurier Institute

By J. Edward Les for Inside Policy

Canada spends more on health care as a percentage of GDP than almost all other OECD countries, yet we rank behind most of them when it comes to outcomes that matter.

I drove a stretch of road near Calgary’s South Health Campus the other day, a section with a series of three intersections in a span of less than a few hundred metres. That is, I tried to drive it – but spent far more time idling than moving.

At each intersection, after an interminable wait, the light turned green just as the next one flipped to red, grinding traffic to a halt just after it got rolling. It was excruciating; I’m quite sure I spied a snail on crutches racing by – no doubt making a beeline (snail-line?) for the ER a stone’s throw away.

The street’s sluggishness is perhaps reflective of the hospital next to it, given that our once-cherished universal health care system has crumbled into a universal waiting system – a system seemingly crafted (like that road) to obstruct flow rather than enable it. In fact, the pace of medical care delivery in this country has become so glacial that even a parking lot by comparison feels like the Indianapolis Speedway.

The health care crisis grows more dire by the day. Reforms are long overdue. Canada spends more on health care as a percentage of GDP than almost all other OECD countries, yet we rank behind most of them when it comes to outcomes that matter.

And we’re paying with our lives: according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, thousands of Canadians die each and every year because of the inefficiencies of our system.

Yet for all that we are paralyzed by the enormity and complexity of the mushrooming disaster. We talk about solutions – and then we talk and talk some more. But for all the talking, precious little action is taken.

I’m reminded of an Anne Lamotte vignette, related in her bestselling book Bird By Bird:

Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.”

So it is with Canadian health care: we’ve wasted years wringing our hands about the woeful state of affairs, while doing precious little about it.

Enough procrastinating. It’s time to tackle the crisis, bird by bird.

One thing we can do is to let doctors be doctors.  A few weeks ago, in a piece titled “Should Doctors Mind Their Own Business?”, I questioned the customary habit of doctors hanging out their shingles in small independent community practices. Physicians spend long years of training to master their craft, years during which they receive no training in business methods whatsoever, and then we expect them to master those skills off to the side of their exam rooms. Some do it well, but many do not – and it detracts from their attention to patients.

We don’t install newly minted teachers in classrooms and at the same time task them with the keeping the lights on, managing the supply chain, overseeing staffing and payroll, and all the other mechanics of running schools. Why do we expect that of doctors?

Keeping doctors embedded within large, expensive, inefficient, bureaucracy-choked hospitals isn’t the solution, either.

There’s a better way, I argued in my essay: regional medical centres – centres built and administered in partnership with the private sector.

Such centres would allow practitioners currently practicing in the community to ply their trade unencumbered by the nuts and bolts of running a business; and they would allow us to decant a host of services from hospitals, which should be reserved for what only hospitals can do: emergency services, inpatient care, surgeries, and the like.

In short, we should let doctors be doctors, and hospitals be hospitals.

To garner feedback, I dumped my musings into a couple of online physician forums to which I belong, tagged with the query: “Food for thought, or fodder for the compost bin?”

The verdict? Hands down, the compost bin.

I was a bit taken aback, initially. Offended, even – because who among us isn’t in love with their own ideas?

But it quickly became evident from my peers’ comments that I’d been misunderstood. Not because my doctor friends are dim, but because I hadn’t been clear.

When I proposed in my essay that we “leave the administration and day-to-day tasks of running those centres to business folks who know what they’re doing,” my colleagues took that to mean that doctors would be serving at the beck and call of a tranche of ill-informed government-enabled administrators – and they reacted to the notion with anaphylactic derision. And understandably so: too many of us have long and painful experience with thick layers of health care bureaucracy seemingly organized according to the Peter Principle, with people promoted to – and permanently stuck at – the level of their incompetence.

But I didn’t mean to suggest – not for a minute – that doctors shouldn’t be engaged in running these centres. I also wrote: “None of which is to suggest that doctors shouldn’t be involved, by aptitude and inclination, in influencing the set-up and management of regional centres – of course, they should.”

Of course they should. There are plenty of physicians equipped with both the skills and interest needed to administer these centres; and they should absolutely be front and centre in leading them.

But more than that: everyone should have skin in the game. All workers have the right to share in the success of an enterprise; and when they do, everybody wins.  When everyone is pulling in the same direction because everyone shares in the wins, waste and inefficiencies are rooted out like magic.

Contrast that to how hospitals are run, with scarcely anyone aware of the actual cost of the blood tests or CT scans they order or the packets of suture and gauze they rip open, and with the motivations of administrative staff, nurses, doctors, and other personnel running off in more directions than a flock of headless chickens. The capacity for waste and inefficiencies is almost limitless.

I don’t mean to suggest that the goal of regional medical centres should be to turn a profit; but fiscal prudence and economic accountability are to be celebrated, because money not wasted is money that can be allocated to enhancing patient care.

Nor do I mean to intimate that sensible resource management should be the only parameter tracked; patient outcomes and patient satisfaction are paramount.

What should government’s role be in all this? Initially, to incentivize the creation of these centres via public-private partnerships; and then, crucially, to encourage competition among them and to reward innovation and performance, with optimization of the three key metrics – patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and economic accountability – always in focus.

No one should be mandated to work in non-hospital regional medical centres. It’s a free country (or it should be): doctors should be free to hang out their own community shingles if they wish. But if we build the model correctly, my contention is that most medical professionals will prefer to work collaboratively under one roof with a diverse group of colleagues, unencumbered by the mundanities of running a business, but also free of choking hospital bureaucracy.

I connected a couple weeks ago with the always insightful economist Jack Mintz (who is also a distinguished fellow at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute). Mintz sits on the board of a Toronto-area hospital and sees first-hand “the problems with the lack of supply, population growth, long wait times between admission and getting a bed, emergency room overuse,” and so on.

“Something has to give,” he said. “Probably more resources but better managed. We really need major reform.”

On that we can all agree. We can’t carry on this way.

So, let’s stop idling; and let’s green-light some fixes.

As Samwise Gamgee said in The Lord of the Rings, “It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”


Dr. J. Edward Les is a pediatrician in Calgary who writes on politics, social issues, and other matters.

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