THE Health Department’s officer in charge (OIC) Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire met with Health Minister Kato Katsunobu of Japan and their respective teams to discuss proposed collaborations to boost the country’s health-care sector.
“With the combined initiatives of Japan and the Philippines, we are truly able to continue the realization of UHC [Universal Health Care] in the country, and allow all Filipinos to have access to health-care services wherever they may be in the country,” said Vergeire.
Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa, secretary to the minister of Health for Labor and Welfare Sato Yasuhiro, deputy assistant minister of the International Policy Planning minister’s secretariat Ozawa Tokio, Office of Global Health Cooperation deputy director Goto Takahiro, deputy director of the International Affairs Division Kei Saruwatari, section chief for Policy Planning Kiho Noguchi, as well as other officials of the Department of Health (DOH) were also in attendance.
The meeting included discussions surrounding the country’s ongoing Covid-19 projects, Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) health initiatives, and expanding UHC within the country through the help of the health capacities of Japan.
Likewise, the introduction of information and communications technologies in the health-care sectors was also tackled. The officials discussed ways the Japanese government may provide guidance in gradually bringing technological advancement to the local health-care front, provide easier access to medical devices, and implement countermeasures through more efficient methods.
A pertinent point raised by Katsunobu was their interest in collaborating to address mental-health issues in both countries; to which, the Health OIC highlighted the DOH’s long-time tie-up with JICA for the country’s Substance Abuse Program.
Vergeire also expressed the DOH’s gratitude to Katsunobu’s team for their time to meet with the DOH and efficiently discuss collaborative efforts that will bolster expanded coverage of UHC within the country.
“I would like to thank…Minister [Katsunobu, Ambassador Koshikawa], and their team for extending Japan’s assistance in further improving the state of health care in the country,” Vergeire stated.
Image credits: DOH