Common ambitions emerging for more sustainable healthcare

November 12, 2021 | 10:56
Vietnam is facing growing demands for high-quality healthcare amid rising challenges and disease burdens, with the health sector being urged to intensify international cooperation to solve them. Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long writes about the orientation in international cooperation to promote sustainability in healthcare.
Common ambitions emerging for more sustainable healthcare
Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long

Back in 2018, the Ministry of Health announced an action plan to implement targets and tasks assigned in the government’s national action plan to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

In regards to international cooperation in sustainable development, the ministry was assigned to join efforts in revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development through a multi-party partnership to share knowledge, experience, technology, and finance to support Vietnam in achieving its sustainability goals.

We intensified international cooperation from there, and took the initiative in global integration to get technical, training, and financial support from countries and international organisations. The sector also enhanced international cooperation in the fight against crime in the field.

Moreover, the sector has taken the initiative in negotiations and effective implementation of bilateral and multilateral agreements on health, while actively taking part in building policies and solving both regional and global health issues, thus increasing the Vietnamese medical sector’s role in the international arena.

The sector works on harmonisation of procedures and processes with ASEAN and the wider world in the field of health, and also intensifies the development and application of international and regional medical practices and standards.

For example, it has been building programmes and activities in collaboration with countries sharing our border in prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other dangerous diseases.

Together with international cooperation, the health sector has been focusing on digital transformation to promote sustainable development.

In order to actively participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the ministry in October 2019 approved a scheme on the application of IT and the development of smart health towards 2025.

The scheme has the common goal of applying and developing digital technology and smart technology in healthcare to contribute to developing Vietnam’s health system into a modern, qualified, fair, effective, and globally-integrated one; helping citizens easily get access to healthcare services with high efficiency, and helping them be protected and enjoy a life-long and continuous improvement in healthcare.

Through analysis of the development trends and the readiness of digital tech applications in the health sector, it is known that this development will make key impacts on the sector across three aspects The first is to change internal management and governance among health units and organs towards going to digital platforms for Industry 4.0.

The second directly affects subjects and services of the health sector towards changing their approach from traditional health services to digital health services, in which digital data is the foundation.

The third aspect, and probably considered the most important, is the way to practice professional activities and professional competence. Digital transformation will prompt management agencies and health facilities to invest in the digitalisation of databases and strong IT applications.

In this digital transformation, the future of the health sector is linked to connectivity, exchange, and the use and analysis of data. This requires the sector to change its way of working from traditional methods based on paper to the application of digital databases to step-by-step complete this connectivity and exchange.

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