Indonesia to lead explore ASEAN Health Sector Cooperation with the US

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DENPASAR, Indonesia, May 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On the last day of the 15th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting, the Indonesian Ministry of Health as the Co-chair of the ASEAN-US Health Ministerial Meeting led the cooperation talks in ASEAN member states and the United States of America (the US).

“During the ASEAN-US Health Ministerial Meeting, we had the opportunity to discuss and adopt the ASEAN-US terms of Reference and agree on cooperation to develop a three-year work plan,” said Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin at a press conference on Sunday in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia.

The two major world’s economies, ASEAN, and the US, agree to, first, strengthening the health system for emergencies. Second, to encourage investment in primary healthcare services, such as the Indonesian style of Community Health Center Puskesmas. The purpose is to encourage communities in ASEAN and the US embracing a healthier lifestyle to reduce health costs.

In addition, strengthening primary health services is also important to ensure that vulnerable groups can access healthcare services when needed that would resemble equitable access to healthcare.

Whilst the development of the health system will be carried out through building the capacity and quality of human resources. A strong and equitable health system must be balanced with well-trained and well-performing health workers. For this reason, ASEAN and the US to increase the capacity of their health workers as well as to increase the number of people working in the area. ASEAN and the US also agree to ensure the relevance of health workers skills and their quality to meet the needs of the patients and the development of science and technology.

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The ASEAN-US cooperation will also strengthen information and data systems to support the development of local vaccine production, therapeutic and diagnostic tools. In practice, the two countries agreed to transfer technology and know-how, as well as to increase research and development capacity,

“The United States is committed to helping ASEAN,” said the Minister of Health.

Minister Budi said that the concept of regional cooperation in the health sector with any partners is aimed to advancing and strengthening the health system itself and is not only for ASEAN Member States but also for the United States.

“When the ASEAN-US Health Sector Work Plan is established, Indonesia is ready to contribute to achieving the priorities that would be set. I believe that the US expertise, knowledge and experience will benefit the future of the ASEAN Health Sector,” he concluded.

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