Swedish Donor Becomes Equal Partner

Vietnam and
Sweden have agreed to adopt an equal partnership in healthcare in place of the
aid recipient-donor relationship which has existed for 40 years.

     The shift
aims to increase the sustainability and payment capacity in healthcare for both
sides, said Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang at a workshop in Hanoi on
November 11, 2008.

    His view
was shared by the Swedish Secretary of Health and Social Affairs Karin
Johansson and her entourage, who are visiting the country to examine Vietnam ’s
healthcare policies and to seek opportunities for a broader partnership between
companies, organisations and research institutions from the two countries that
operate in this field.

    At the
workshop, Quang identified hospital waste treatment and an improvement in
hospital hygiene and disinfection as two major opportunities for Swedish
investors.

    “Vietnam
will provide the best available stimuli for Swedish pharmacies and medical
equipment suppliers, as well as Swedish investors in hospitals,” the senior
health official pledged.

    However, he
called upon Sweden to continue assisting in administrative reforms for the
health sector, formulating policies in favour of the poor and evaluating
Vietnam ’s public health policies.

    The Deputy
Health Minister also requested Swedish assistance in the development of human
resources, research, the transfer of technology in public health and adolescent
health programmes, pharmaceutical management and information technology for
pharmaceutical State management agencies.

    In
replying, Swedish Secretary Johansson said that relations between Vietnam and
Sweden are based on a strong foundation and can develop rapidly in future
years.

    She
stressed that, in order to effectively develop relations, cooperation and trade
are the main tools that can be used by Sweden and Vietnam in facing any
challenges to their common interests.

    Sweden
extended assistance in the healthcare sector to Vietnam before the two
countries established diplomatic relations in 1969. The Scandinavian country
has helped to build or rebuild several hospitals, such as the the Bach Mai
Hospital, the Quang Ninh Hospital and the Swedish Children’s Hospital, which is
now the National Hospital of Pediatrics.

 

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