During his visit to the United States, coinciding with the ongoing UN General Assembly events, Israeli Health Minister Moshe Arbel engaged in a significant collaboration with his American counterpart, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra. This collaboration took the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), aimed at strengthening cooperation between the two nations in various vital sectors of the healthcare industry.

In their joint statement, the two ministers underscored their unwavering commitment to advancing cooperation in several areas of mutual interest, deeply impacting both Israel and the United States. These key areas included the promotion and development of mental health services, advancements in health research and technology assessment, ensuring food security, streamlining drug and medical device licensing procedures, bolstering public health measures (including preparations for future epidemics), enhancing behavioral health initiatives, harnessing the potential of digital health, and leveraging artificial intelligence within healthcare systems. Additionally, genomic medicine and personalized medicine were pivotal aspects of this landmark agreement.

Minister Moshe Arbel expressed his optimism regarding the strengthened bonds between Israel and the U.S. He articulated, "The friendship between Israel and the U.S. is stronger than ever, and the cooperation between the countries stands as an immensely significant cornerstone. The COVID-19 pandemic and its far-reaching repercussions serve as a warning signal, urging us to collaborate closely to find solutions in both the physical and mental health domains."

Arbel went on to emphasize the exceptional quality of both the Israeli and American healthcare systems. He enthusiastically noted, "The Israeli and American healthcare systems are globally recognized for excellence. I am delighted and honored to sign this crucial Memorandum of Understanding after several years, which will undoubtedly bring comfort, blessings, and prosperity not only to the citizens of Israel and the United States but also to people worldwide. Our agreement shines a spotlight on the importance of investing in mental health, making it a top priority. Mental health services will no longer be relegated to the periphery of healthcare services in both Israel and the United States."

The signing of this significant MOU followed Minister Moshe Arbel's address at the UN General Assembly, during which he, in partnership with his Moroccan counterpart Prof. Khalid Ait Taleb, issued a joint statement outlining their countries' joint commitment to preventing, treating, and effectively managing epidemics.

In his address, Minister Arbel passionately stressed the paramount importance of mental health. He stated, "For 75 years, we have steadfastly worked to promote physical health and mental well-being. However, for too long, mental health has been overlooked, lacking the attention and resources it deserves. Now, with the lessons learned from the epidemic, we must ensure the allocation of sufficient resources and funding to prioritize mental health."

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