The 7th APEC High – level Meeting on Health and the Economy was held in Sheraton Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam on August 23rd – 24th, 2017. There were about 200 participants including delegates from 21 APEC economies, APEC Secretariat; observers from WHO, UNFPA, APRU, JICA…

Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, HE Mr. Vu Duc Dam emphasized the importance of the High – Level Meeting on the purpose of building a strong economy in Viet Nam and area. The world has changed, science and technology posed many opportunities, but also has many challenges. Many new diseases have developed rapidly. The rate of aging population quickly developed; as well as multi-faceted pressure of society. There are many occupational diseases especially depression, autism in children more and more. Obesity in urban areas, non-contagious diseases harmed the whole society.

We were facing to human health as the aging of the population, the pressure of the industry affected the health risks.

We need to mobilize people to take care of preventive medicine, regular checkups is very important to all people.

The government is not only concerned with the mechanism, but also concerned with serving the people, taking care of remote areas, ethnic minorities, providing them with access to the best health services, especially preventive medicine. Although some diseases have been wiped out like diphtheria, cholera… but many new diseases like Zika, etc. always threaten to human life. All we can do is pay attention to the finance on health field.

Regarding health insurance, we need to maintain health insurance spending, to mobilize people to participate not only in insurance but also in health care. The priority issue is awareness of the prevention.

In addition, we have challenges such as how we have an insurance policy system that covers the entire population; to change the ways of spending; development of prevention; reduction of the rate of drug use; enhancement of natural medicine, and encouraging medical institution to take care of the elderly.

Vietnam needs strong financial reforms on health, giving directions and solutions in the coming time.

This is a very important conference for economies and Vietnam. This is a place for all economies to share experiences, successes and failures, and he hoped that economies would make very specific recommendations in the APEC conference.

The meeting discussed the issue of health financing reform for public health towards sustainable development, with the goal of covering the health of the people while many member economies had to cope with issues such as over budget, poor health in remote areas ...; indicators on the effectiveness of public investment in the health sector; changing financial mechanisms in the APEC region, solving the ineffective health system, increasing investment in youth health care, strengthening cooperation between the public and private sectors to achieve the goal for a Healthy Asia Pacific by 2020.

The results of the meeting will be incorporated into the Joint Declaration and Recommendation to be sent to the APEC Summit in November 2017 in Danang.

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