Thai Minister of Public Health Wittaya Buranasiri and his Vietnamese counterpart, Dr. Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on public health cooperation between the two nations. The MoU requires Thailand to provide assistance to Vietnam in the development of the latter’s universal health coverage system, which will be launched in 2014.
As part of the MoU, an exchange program will also be initiated between hospitals of both countries to exchange knowledge in health insurance and financial support systems. Under this exchange program Thailand’s Rajavithi Hospital will partner with Vietnam’s Bach Mai Hospital while the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health will be paired with the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics.
Additionally, the two countries will collaborate to enhance their potentials in monitoring and handling emerging infectious diseases, such as SARS and avian influenza.
Thailand’s success in the universal health-care coverage scheme has been widely accepted. Mr. Wittaya stated that Thailand is willing to give its full support to any country which seeks its assistance on the issue, especially a country belonging to the same region, such as Vietnam.