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Korea to cooperate on healthcare with 3 Central Asian countries
  • By Lee Han-soo
  • Published 2019.04.24 17:10
  • Updated 2019.04.24 17:37
  • comments 0

The Ministry of Health and Welfare announced that it plans to work closely with healthcare agencies in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. The announcement came during President Moon Jae-in's visit to the three Central Asian countries from April 16-23.

Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo (third from right, on the further side of the table) and other Korean officials meet with their counterparts from the Uzbekistan Health Ministry at the latter's office last Saturday..

The ministry signed an “implementation plan,” an accord more specific than the conventional memorandum of understanding, with its counterparts in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. To further enhance the effectiveness of the plan, the ministry will form and operate a working group, and exchange medical personnel, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices with the two countries.

The ministry also plans to operate a cooperation center after concluding an MoU with the Uzbekistan Ministry of Health. It also held a policy forum commemorating the opening of a cooperation center with the attendance of 150 participants, including healthcare professionals from both countries, and shared healthcare information.

“We could also establish a base for overseas expansion thanks to Korea's ICT-based healthcare technology during President Moon’s visit,” the ministry said. “An example includes the plan to co-establish eHealth comprehensive plan with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan health ministries.”

The government will actively participate in the establishing process of the healthcare information plans in the two countries while planning to present strategies for eHealth development, the ministry said.

The ministry expects that the accord will help Korea's information and communication technology companies and medical institutions to advance to Central Asia more actively.

“As Kazakhstan plans to operate its national health insurance system from next year, Korea has also agreed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries to create a medical environment based on information and communication technologies, such as building a medical information system,” a ministry official said.

The Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service held a discussion with Kazakhstan's health insurance officers on providing training opportunities, as the state-run agency is actively pushing to export its health insurance management information system.

In other examples of cooperative accords, Meere Company, a medical device maker, signed a contract with a Kazakh distributor to export its surgical robot Rebo-I.

The National Cancer Center (NCC) jointly hosted a discussion with Kazakhstan's University Medical Center, and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) decided to introduce Korea's cancer management policies and treatment technologies.

More specifically, the NCC agreed to promote cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment techniques and expert exchange with Kazakhstan National Cancer Research Center, and the KHIDI has decided to develop a Korean public hospital PPP project with the Korea Overseas Infrastructure and Urban Development Support Corporation, Kazakhstan’s Health Development Center and public-private partnership (PPP) Center.

Kyungpook National University Hospital has also signed MoU with the Samarkand State Medical Institute Hospital in Uzbekistan to establish a medical cooperation relationship.

“All three Central Asian countries are pursuing healthcare reform, and as they are interested in Korea's healthcare system and medical technology, we are eager to cooperate with them,” Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said. “We will continue to enhance cooperation in the healthcare sector with the three countries and actively work to expand cooperation with other Central Asian countries.”


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