Minister of Health and Welfare Chung Chin-youb said Tuesday Korea is willing to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to help the Middle East country reform its healthcare system, ministry officials said.
Minister Chung made these and other points during a meeting with Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih who is visiting Korea to discuss ways for bilateral cooperation, on Saudi’s mid- to long-term national development plan dubbed the “Saudi Vision 2030.”
Under the plan, Saudi Arabia wants to reduce its oil dependency and diversify industrial structure placing the focus of government spending on non-oil areas, including healthcare and public welfare.
|Minister of Health and Welfare Chung Chin-youb (left) and Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Adel Fakeih discuss cooperation in the healthcare industry at Chung’s office in Sejong City Tuesday. MHW Photo.|
During the meeting, the Korean minister explained about how Seoul will cooperate with Riyadh in five healthcare areas as proposed by Saudi Arabia, including the establishment of hospital information system and privatization of public hospitals, the officials said.
In the working-group meeting of a joint economic committee held last month for discussing Korea’s advice and cooperation for Saudi’s Vision 2030, the two sides selected five agenda items for such cooperation. They are establishing hospital information system, privatizing public hospitals, building health insurance system, providing counsels for disease control center and the training of medical workforce.
Minister Chung induced Saudi’s positive participation in bilateral cooperative projects highlighting Korea’s recent accomplishments in these areas. Particularly, he cited the successful example of Korea-Bahrain cooperation, through which Korea will export its health insurance system to the Middle East country, based on his country’s advanced medical infrastructure and human resources, the officials said.
Korea has trained about 80 Saudi doctors and dentists since 1994, who are maintaining cooperative ties with Korean medical personnel, setting the example of desirable cooperation between the two countries, they said. Chung proposed to set up a nursing college in Saudi, training Saudi women and creating jobs for them.
Minister Fakeih plans to visit pharmaceutical companies in Songdo, Incheon, in September to discuss technology exchange and investment cooperation in the bio-pharmaceutical industry.
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