Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on September 18 called for closer cooperation among ASEAN member countries as well as between ASEAN and its partners in ensuring universal health coverage, particularly for vulnerable groups and people living in rural, mountainous and hard to reach areas.Addressing the 12th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting which opened in Hanoi on September 18, the PM also stressed the need for further collaboration in the prevention of infectious diseases, such as Ebola, H7N9, and Mec-CoVi which are raging around the globe and some diseases prevalent in ASEAN like dengue, hand-foot-mouth, rabies, and drug-resistant malaria.
The Cabinet leader said the regional nations are working hard to form an ASEAN community by 2015’s end with one of the important contents being public health care which will help develop human resources, thus fueling the rapid and sustainable growth of each member country and the entire bloc.
Over the three-decade renewal process, Vietnam has reaped numerous socio-economic attainments, including health care, he noted, elaborating that the country has fulfilled the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals of poverty eradication, child mortality reduction, and maternal health improvement.
Health insurance has so far covered three-fourths of Vietnam’s population while some of its health indices have outpaced many countries with the same income level, the PM said.
Attributing such achievements to Vietnam’s own efforts as well as valuable assistance of the international community, he thanked countries and international organisations and asked for further support from them.
The 12th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting, the first to be held in Vietnam, draws the participation of nearly 200 delegates from the 10 ASEAN nations, the partner countries of China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan, and international organisations.
The two-day event, themed “Better health for ASEAN Community after 2015”, will focus on primary health care and multi-sectoral coordination in emerging infectious disease prevention.
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