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Press Release

Korea Accelerating Healthcare Cooperation with Central Asian Countries

  • Date : 2019-04-23
  • Hit : 786

Korea Accelerating Healthcare Cooperation with Central Asian Countries

- Reaching Agreements on Elaborating Healthcare Cooperation with Governments of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan –
- Hosting the Korea-Uzbekistan Policy Forum in Celebration of the Opening of the Korea-Uzbekistan Healthcare Cooperation Center-
- First Export of Korean Surgical Robot to Kazakhstan -

 The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW, Minister Neunghoo Park) announced that the Minister visited 3 Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan during H.E. President Jaein Moon’s state visit to Central Asia from April 16 to 23, 2019.
 During the visit, a variety of progress was made for the overseas expansion of Korean healthcare industry including ICT-based healthcare technology in parallel with the promotion of Korea’s advanced healthcare policy and institutions.
 The MOHW signed the Implementation Plans on Healthcare Cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry (MHMI) of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Kazakhstan. The Plans go beyond the existing Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) on comprehensive healthcare cooperation and include more specific cooperation measures.
 Based on the Implementation Plans, working groups will be formed and operated in the fields of high priorities in bilateral cooperation such as the exchange of medical personnel and pharmaceutical and medical devices to ensure the implementation of the Plans.
 In addition, the MOHW signed the MOU on the Establishment and Operation of the Korea-Uzbekistan Healthcare Cooperation Center with the Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan, which will put the Cooperation Center into operation.
 In celebration of the opening of the Center, the Korea-Uzbekistan Healthcare Policy Forum was held on April 19, 2019 with 150 of healthcare experts from both countries. The forum served as a venue for sharing each country’s healthcare policies and industry status including health insurance policy, medical tourism, e-Health, and the pharmaceutical industry.
* Dongwook Lee, appointed as Deputy Minister of Health and Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Social Development of Uzbekistan on March, 2019, takes on the chief manager role of the Center (Dr. Sangyoung Lee of the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHSA) is being dispatched to the Center as the chief researcher)
 Meanwhile, after the G2G meeting in the morning on April 20, the MOH of Uzbekistan awarded Minister Neunghoo Park the badge of excellent personal of healthcare of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Also, Tashkent Medical Academy(TMA) bestowed the title of honorable professor on the Minister.
 The most tangible progress made during the visit is to lay out the foundation for the overseas expansion to the 3 Central Asian nations with ICT-based Korean healthcare system.
 The MOHW reached agreements with the MHMI of Turkmenistan and the MOH of Uzbekistan to jointly establish the e-Health Master Plan for each country.
- By participating in the development of a blueprint for healthcare informatization of the two countries, the MOHW will be able to identify the current status of healthcare informatization of the countries and to suggest development strategy for e-Health.
- Ultimately, the expansion of Korean IT companies and medical institutions into the Central Asian market will be further facilitated.
 With Kazakhstan, the MOHW consented to strengthen bilateral cooperation to create an ICT-based medical environment including the establishment of a health information system to develop the national health insurance system in Kazakhstan which will take into effect for all citizens in 2020.
- During the Presidential visit, the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA) discussed issues including providing training opportunities to Kazakh health insurance officials in Korea, and follow-up discussions will be made on the export of the HIRA Information System.
 In regard to capacity building for healthcare professionals, which is the common interests of the three countries, public and private institutions of Korea formed partnerships on the exchange of medical personnel and education with the Ministries of Health, educational institutions, and hospitals of the three countries.
 The Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) signed the MOU on Research, Education, and Training with the International Educational-Scientific Center (IESC) which oversees hands-on practice of medical professionals in Turkmenistan.
 Seoul Medical Center, Kyungpook National University Hospital, and Bupyeong Himchan Hospital established partnerships with the IESC or IESC-affiliated hospitals, respectively, to gradually expand the exchange between private sectors with Turkmenistan which has not been made so far.
 Kyungpook National University Hospital signed the MOU on the Joint Establishment of the Rehabilitation Department at Aspendiyarov National Medical University of Kazakhstan.
 In Uzbekistan, in cooperation with AKFA Medline, Gacheon University College of Medicine is providing Korean medical school curriculum to establish the first private medical university in the country, and the first 200 students are going to enter the university in September, 2019.
 Going further, cutting-edge medical technology of Korea was promoted in the region and the foundation was laid out for facilitating the overseas expansion of the Korean healthcare industry in Central Asia.
 Meerecompany Inc. signed the MOU with local distributor in Kazakhstan to export Rebo-i, the first Korean surgical robot which has been successfully commercialized for the second time in the world after Da Vinci of the United States.
- As the first export of domestically-developed surgical robots, it is expected to stimulate the export of cutting-edge medical devices of Korea.
 In line with the demand for cooperation to reduce cancer prevalence in Kazakhstan, the National Cancer Center of Korea introduced cancer management policy and treatment technology of Korea by jointly hosting a forum with the Nazarbayev University Medical Center (UMC) on April 19, 2019.
- In addition, Korea and Kazakhstan agreed to share cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment technologies and to exchange experts, so that the Kazakh Research Institute of Oncology/Radiology, established in May 2018, can benchmark Korea and successfully operate the Institute.
 The KHIDI will develop Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects for the establishment of Korean-style public hospitals in Kazakhstan in cooperation with the Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development (KIND), Republican Center for Health Development (RCHD), and PPP Center of Kazakhstan.
* The Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development (KIND): an affiliated organization of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport dedicated to supporting PPP projects.
 Kyungpook National University Hospital singed the MOU to build partnership in medical treatment with First and Second Samarkand State Medical Institute in Uzbekistan.
 During the Presidential visit, Chung Hospital (Suncheon Foundation) and Tashkent Medical University jointly host an event to provide knee joint surgeries for free to the socially marginalized in Uzbekistan, promoting the excellence of Korean medical technology and sharing humanitarian value.
 Minister Neunghoo Park asserted, “the three Central Asian countries, carrying out healthcare reform, showed tremendous interests in bilateral cooperation with Korea as they highly recognize the excellence of the Korean healthcare system and medical technology”, and announced,
 “The MOHW will continue to enhance the cooperative relationships with the three countries in the field of healthcare so that the progress made during the Presidential visit to be expanded across Central Asia.”

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