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Swedish donor becomes equal partner in healthcare

Hanoi (VNA)- 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.

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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