Viet Nam to Strengthen Bilateral Cooperation on Healthcare with Japan
Himeji, 27 October 2021: Viet Nam’s healthcare sector has been undergoing extensive reforms to meet the needs of the people; however, it still needs further improvements to achieve better health indicators as it lags behind other countries in Asia and the western Pacific region, said H.E. Dr Nguyen Trương Son, Vice Minister of Ministry of Health, Viet Nam. Vice Minister Son shared the current status of Viet Nam’s healthcare sector, the challenges, and goals to achieve during a webinar held on the side lines of the annual meeting of the World Health Organization Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in Himeji, Japan on 27 October 2021. He also expressed his hopes to deepen bilateral cooperation with Japan in the healthcare sector.
‘During the process of innovation and development of health sector, Viet Nam wishes to strengthen international cooperation, especially to promote the bilateral cooperation with Japan by mobilising specialities and technical assistance, strengthening professional cooperation with universities, hospital, and institutes in Japan,’ said Vice Minister Son in his keynote address for the webinar entitled ‘Further Collaboration in Healthcare Sector between Viet Nam and Japan’.
He also thanked Japan for the support that was given to Viet Nam for COVID-19 prevention and control, as well as Japan’s cooperation in Viet Nam’s health sector so far. He closed his remarks by underlining the importance of continuous dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.
According to the Executive Director of Medical Excellence JAPAN, Dr Minoru Akiyama, in his opening remarks, the webinar was held to identify the medium-term and long-term issues in the healthcare field in which Japan and Viet Nam should work together in the future. Experts will be able to discuss the establishment of a system of cooperation that would lead to solutions to the issues through collaboration between industry, academia, and medical institutions, in addition to intergovernmental cooperation.
‘We have learned a lot through the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently [a] huge problem for both Japan and Viet Nam. We must build a system for the people of each country to receive better and fair medical care as much as possible. To achieve that, we need to consider how we can provide patient-centred rational medical care in each country based on the concept of regulatory science. However, healthcare reform cannot be achieved in a single country. Thus, international cooperation becomes more important to realise patient-centred rational medical care. In response to this idea, I hope Medical Excellence Viet Nam will be established in Viet Nam in the near future as an organisation that can contribute to the global healthcare with Medical Excellence JAPAN to help various problems in the healthcare field in both countries can be resolved through the industry, government, academia, and medical institutions’ cooperation,’ said Dr Akiyama.
Supporting the idea to establish stronger bilateral cooperation in the healthcare field between Viet Nam and Japan, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, gave three reasons for the establishment of a new collaboration platform for Japan and Viet Nam in the healthcare sector. He mentioned that the platform would allow the two countries to share their experiences and existing technologies to solve healthcare-related challenges as well as create solutions to new challenges from ongoing new projects such as the super-ageing society, and those solutions in both countries would lead to solving future challenges in the neighbouring region.
Around 280 people attended the webinar which was organised by the Medical Excellence JAPAN and ERIA. The attendees came from diverse backgrounds, such as experts in the Vietnamese medical and healthcare sector as well as people who are interested in the medical and healthcare collaboration between Viet Nam and Japan, including health professionals, academia, people from health industries, and ministries. The conference concluded with the recognition of the issues that need to be addressed through continued dialogue to deepen the discussions and establish a bilateral cooperation platform.