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Korea, China, Japan to cooperate on universal health coverage, infectious disease, aging
  • By Kwak Sung-sun
  • Published 2019.12.16 12:47
  • Updated 2019.12.16 12:47
  • comments 0

Korea, China, and Japan decided to enhance cooperation to achieve universal health coverage, prevent infectious diseases, and promote active and healthy aging, the government said.

The 12th Tripartite Health Ministers Meeting is underway at Walker Hill Hotel in Seoul on Sunday.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare said it held the 12th Tripartite Health Ministers Meeting in Seoul on Saturday and Sunday.

With Korea’s proposal, the tripartite meeting began in 2007 to respond to the new strain of avian influenza (H5N1). The three neighbors take the turn to hold the annual meeting and exchange opinions on common healthcare issues and discuss joint responses.

“Healthcare is the humanitarian sector where ‘win-win’ cooperation is possible. It will promote our cooperation in other fields and enhance the tripartite friendship,” Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said in his keynote speech on Sunday.

The three countries shared their efforts and experiences and discussed cooperation measures, regarding achieving universal health coverage through ICT (Information and Communications Technology), preventing and responding to infectious diseases and promoting healthy and active aging, Park added.

Minister Park noted that ICT has become the key to helping people benefit from universal health coverage.

In Korea, the government was using ICT to broaden the national health insurance system, secure the system’s sustainability, ensure high access to medical care, and increase the quality of public health, he emphasized.

The three health ministers visited the National Health Insurance Service on Saturday to discuss the topic of the efficient management of health insurance subscribers using ICT.

They shared the necessity of systematic health insurance membership management through ICT and further linking it to the health and welfare services for individuals.

To prevent and respond to infectious diseases, Park proposed that the three nations could urgently provide vaccines to each other in emergencies and promptly share information among health authorities regarding vaccine supply interruption and safety issues.

The three health ministers signed on the “Third Amendment to Joint Action Plan on Infectious Disease Response.”

The top healthcare policymakers from Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo also shared opinions on the third topic, “healthy and active aging.”

As the three nations have common concerns over how to prepare for an aging society, the ministers shared views that the three neighbors should try to prevent the disease and take measures not only for long but healthy lives.

The three ministers adopted a joint statement reflecting the results of the meeting. The next tripartite meeting will be held in China.

During the annual event, Park met with Ma Xiaowei, head of China's National Health Commission, and Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare. He also had a separate meeting with Takeshi Kasai, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific.

Park and Ma signed an action plan for health cooperation between Korea and China as a follow-up to the healthcare business agreement in December 2017. They agreed to solidify and specify the collaboration.

With Kato, Park shared the low birthrate issue and aging that both countries face in common, and exchanged views on policy direction.


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