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Vietnam sole Asian country in WEF global healthcare initiative

By Phan Anh   November 18, 2020 | 05:58 pm PT
Vietnam sole Asian country in WEF global healthcare initiative
Medical workers handle Covid-19 samples in Quang Ngai Province, central Vietnam, August 1, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Van Phong.
Vietnam is the only Asian country selected by the World Economic Forum for a global healthcare partnership that will seek to improve responses to health crises.

The Partnership for Global Health System Sustainability and Resilience (PHSSR), founded by the WEF, the London School of Economics and biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, aims to help health systems foresee, prevent, and adapt to global health challenges by initiating broad, multi-sector efforts, according to a press release issued by the U.K. embassy in Vietnam.

The partnership was launched in Hanoi on Tuesday night, it added.

In its pilot phase, expected to run until January next year, the PHSSR would be implemented in eight countries, the other seven being France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain and the U.K.

Vietnam was chosen for its "unique health system experiences and expertise, including its effective Covid-19 response," the release said.

The Vietnam team, led by Tran Thi Mai Oanh, director of Health Strategy and Policy Institute, will apply a framework developed by the London school to conduct a review of the country's health system sustainability and resilience, and identify practical solutions to strengthen them.

Vietnam would conduct two case studies regarding the country's medical system, focusing on hospital quality management during Covid-19 and healthcare provision at the grassroots level, according to Oanh.

The studies would help highlight lessons and experience from Vietnam and help share them with other countries. They would also help to identify gaps where there could be room for improvement. Based on the studies' results, policy recommendations could be made, Oanh said.

"Difficult though it might be to imagine now, the day will arrive when Covid-19 will no longer be the world's principal health concern. Instead of focusing exclusively on bringing the pandemic under control, we need to build systems that are capable of responding to routine as well as unexpected challenges," representatives of the partnership's founding partners said, as cited in the release.

"We want to do this by breaking down the traditional barriers between academia, business and the public sector and creating a platform to disseminate breakthrough insights, and enable health systems to act upon them."

Vietnam has had 1,300 Covid-19 cases so far, 138 still active. Thirty five have died of the disease, many of them elderly patients with underlying conditions like diabetes and kidney failure.

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