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Accord on intl medical aid inked

Resource type: News

Vietnamese News Agency (VNA) |

The Ministry of Health on March 31 signed a cooperation accord with international and domestic partners in increasing the efficiency of international medical aid to Vietnam.

The accord was the outcome of a conference with medical partners, drawing eight bilateral donors, three international organisations, four UN agencies and eight civil organisations operating in Vietnam s public health sector.

Through the accord, the Ministry of Health is seeking international assistance in improving management and policy making capabilities for the development of public health. The ministry also asked partners to increase investment in grassroots medical services, particularly in remote and mountainous areas, and in hi-tech and preventative medicine networks, food hygiene and medical treatment.

Other areas where the ministry is seeking international cooperation include human resource development through investments in universities, colleges and mid-level schools for physicians and pharmacists, population and family planning, and health care for mothers and children.

The Ministry of Health and partners have vowed to promote the national role in the development process, set up an effective partnership, and provide assistance while ensuring regular progress reports.

Sean Doyle, Ambassador and Head of the European Commission Mission in Vietnam, said the accord comes at a time when the financial crisis has led to a thin State budget, which demands more effective application of international aid.

The accord sets forth a roadmap towards an improved, modern and more equal healthcare system in Vietnam, the EC mission head concluded.

Health Minister Nguyen Quoc Trieu reported at the conference that the State budget for the medical sector is expected to reach 23.35 trillion VND (1.3 billion USD) in 2009, while total spending is estimated at 5-6 percent of GDP, or 45 USD per capita per year.

However, the State budget provides for just 30 percent of total medical costs, a low level even in comparison with low-income countries, Trieu admitted.

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