It is essential to strengthen cooperation among ASEAN member countries as well as between the bloc and its partners to ensure universal health coverage, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said.
PM Dung made the statement when addressing the 12th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting that kicked off in Hanoi yesterday, September 18, with a theme of “Better health for ASEAN Community after 2015.”
He also emphasized that universal health coverage must be provided to the public, particularly for vulnerable groups and people living in rural, mountainous areas.
Regional countries should further cooperate in preventing infectious diseases, such as Ebola, H7N9, and MERS-CoV, which are raging around the world, as well as the diseases that are prevalent in ASEAN like dengue, hand-foot-mouth, rabies, and drug-resistant malaria, the Vietnamese leader said.
Currently, three-fourths of Vietnam’s population is covered with health insurance and some of the country’s health indices have overtaken many countries with the same income level, PM Dung said.
He also told the meeting that Vietnam has fulfilled the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals of poverty eradication, child mortality reduction, and maternal health improvement.
The 12th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting draws nearly 200 delegates from the 10 ASEAN nations, the bloc’s three partner countries – China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan – and many international organizations.