Novartis joints goal of improving Vietnam’s healthcare system

09:00 | 02/10/2015
Ninety-four delegates from 19 countries gathered yesterday for the 8th Asia Pacific Future Trends Forum to discuss key healthcare policy issues and share best practices in healthcare sector.

Held at the Sheraton Saigon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City with the theme “Designing Policies for Reimbursement, Health System Quality and Patient Safety”, the forum was organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Vietnam in collaboration with research-based Swiss healthcare company Novartis.

First held in 2007, the annual healthcare policy brings together health policy makers and international academia for discussions and exchange of ideas on international trends, future priorities in healthcare sector focusing on universal health coverage (UHC) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs), enhancing the quality of healthcare systems and health financing sustainability across the region. Topics include patient safety and healthcare service quality; and health system architecture for efficiency and innovation.

This year’s Asia Pacific Future Trends Forum brought together delegates from Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (China), Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Vietnam. The holding of the forum is an important part of the memorandum of understanding signed in 2014 between the MoH of Vietnam and Novartis.

“The invaluable inputs of experts and policy makers participating in the forum will help enhance healthcare services across the globe and strengthen regional and global cooperation. This forum opens a new chapter in the broader and stronger partnership between the MoH and Novartis”, said Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Xuyen, Deputy Minister of Health.

Dr. Tran Thi Giang Huong, director general of the MoH’s International Cooperation Department shared Vietnam’s achievements in the healthcare sector and its contributions to the global health agenda. She also emphasised the importance of further strengthening cooperation among countries in the Asia Pacific region to achieve UHC and of the Millennium Development Goals. 

“The Vietnamese government and the MoH are committed to providing equal access to healthcare, particularly for ethnic minorities, the poor and other vulnerable groups. We are targeting 75 per cent health insurance coverage by late 2015 and 80 per cent by 2020,” said Huong.

“We believe that healthcare companies have a responsibility to continuously work to improve patient’s access to medicines, particularly in developing countries. In collaboration with the Vietnamese government, Novartis will strive to make a lasting impact in the global battle against non-communicable diseases,” said Jason Smith, head of Asia Cluster, Novartis AG.

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care and cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. Last year, Novartis achieved net sales of $58.0 billion, while R&D throughout the group amounted to approximately $9.9 billion. 

“We are privileged to partner with the MoH in co-hosting this forum as we strive to deliver our joint goal of improving Vietnam’s healthcare system,” said Philippe de Pougnadoresse, chief representative for Novartis Pharma Services AG in Vietnam.

By By Hoang Anh

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