As Minister for Health it is my great pleasure to welcome you to the NUNA MED conference 2013!
It is the 7th time this conference is held. But it is my very first NUNA MED.
The conference’s title is: ”Research is education”. Even though this title can be interpreted in many ways, I personally look forward to learning a lot in the coming days.
I am impressed by the large turnout and the exciting and very extensive program. It shows the great interest there is today for research in Greenland and in Arctic.
I think it is impressive that we have our very own conference, where we can have focus on health in Greenland – both in the broad perspective and in depth.
I would like to thank the organizers that have worked focused and long to make this conference happen. I think that NUNA MED is a good example of how far you can get when you combine all the good efforts across the professional health organizations.
A big thank also to those of you that contribute with presentations at this conference. Thank you because you are willing to share all your knowledge with us.
And finally I want to say thank you to all of you who have chosen to participate here. You have come to learn and to bring knowledge with you back to your workplaces. And that is important!
If you have read the coalition agreement you will know that the Government feels that research – not least research in subjects like our lifestyle and health – is important and must be strengthened. We have to use research based knowledge when we plan the preventive and health promoting initiatives.
Therefore, the link between research and practical application is so incredibly important. I hope that many of you who are present here today will help ensure that the research presented at this conference will be used to benefit the patients and health care, and especially public health.
I am happy that children and young people have a prominent place in the program. Precisely children, young people and families has been appointed as a special target group in the public health program Inuuneritta II, which describes the Government’s strategies and objectives regarding public health in the period 2013 to 2019.
Children and young people are particularly vulnerable because they depend on both their families and of society in terms of ensuring their well-being and health.
Several conference workshops are dealing directly with Inuuneritta IIs objectives, including alcohol. For that I am really happy - it gives us a good basis for further work on the specific prevention and health promotion interventions.
Suicide prevention and mental health are also prominent in the program. The same is the social conditions’ importance in relation to public health.
Social inequality begins already before birth. For us politicians it is good to be reminded how important it is that we focus on the overall framework for public health, including the basic health, care and educational services in our society. Only that way can the social inequality in health among children, young people and families be reduced.
The Government works for a health care system where the citizen is the center. This means, among other things that we strive to provide health services as close to the citizens’ homes as possible. The services and examinations that can be done locally, must be done locally.
I am therefore pleased that several workshops are looking at how we can use the modern technology to bring healthcare services close to the citizen. We are already well advanced in the implementation of Telemedicine and this work must continue.
Finally I think it is great that there are no less than 2 events following NUNA MED targeted at students. This gives the title “Research is education” extra significance.
Finally, I would just like to make a small well-intentioned appeal to you researchers. Remember that we are a small population of only 56,000 souls. If you researchers are good at collaborating and making data available to each other, you are protecting the population. That way you can help to limit the research fatigue that we are already experiencing in some parts of the population.
With these words I want to wish all of you a good and rewarding conference!
Thank you for your attention.