Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Laos health minister highlights achievements to Asean meeting

Sep 03. 2019
Bounkong Syhavong
Bounkong Syhavong
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By VIENTIANE TIMES
ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Laos has been increasingly successful in protecting people’s right to healthcare with the majority of the population now having greater access to better quality health services, according to its Minister of Health, Assoc Professor Dr Bounkong Syhavong.

He was speaking to the recent 14th Asean Health Ministers meeting and related meetings held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, at which he highlighted the successful efforts of health authorities in working with Asean member countries to deliver medical services to the public. 

For several years, Laos has continued to develop the capacity of medical staff at central, provincial and district hospitals and community dispensaries, aiming to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals on healthcare and universal healthcare coverage, the minister said.

“The ministry has been developing its human resources while continuing to strengthen healthcare facilities and improving health services through higher-quality treatment and technical innovation,” he added. 

In response to public demand, the ministry has embarked on health sector reform by implementing new government policies.

There is also funding for health services for the poor and improved human resources in the sector, with a particular focus on increasing access to better quality services and reducing the mortality rate of mothers and children.

According to the ministry, Laos signed an agreement with the Cambodian Public Health Ministry and regional bloc health ministers on August 30 to set up the Asean Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation.

This will open in Bangkok during the 35th Asean Summit in November.

During the meeting in Siem Reap, Laos and other Asean member countries agreed on the need for a universal healthcare scheme, disease prevention, the “one health approach”, communicable disease control, special care for seniors through health checks, lowering the mortality rate of mothers and children, and food security.

Regional health ministers also endorsed the Asean Leaders’ Declaration on Asean Vaccine Security and Self-Reliance.

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