Fashion & Lifestyle

Marching towards ASEAN integration in health sector: Consultation workshop on regulatory reform for healthcare professionals

The Ministry of Health has organised a consultation workshop for the members of the upcoming Healthcare Professional Council, and Healthcare Professional Boards formedical, dental, and nursing/midwifery professions, to discuss their roles and functions within this new institutional framework.

The new Healthcare Professional Council and Healthcare Professional Boards are a major step towards an improved, transparent and reliable system of licensing and registering domestic as well as foreign healthcare professionals – a cornerstone towards an improved training system and a high quality provision of healthcare services within the country in accordance with ASEAN requirements.

“I would like to congratulate the Ministry of Health and its partners for successfully setting up the Healthcare Professional Council and Boards. This is a big step forward in reforming the Lao healthcare system towards international best practice. This meeting is a great opportunity to discuss the role and relevance of all members before the actual launch of the framework later this month”, said Mr. Ernst HustA�dt, Country Director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Lao PDR during his official remarks.

The meeting was chaired by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong, Minister of Health, Dr. Juliet Fleischl, World Health Organization (WHO) Representative for Lao PDR, and Mr. Ernst HustA�dt (GIZ). Over 75 representatives from nine relevant ministries, several training institutions, major hospitals and associations, as well as four development partners attended the workshop.

Together with some of its key partners, namely the World Health Organization (WHO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Ministry of Health has put tremendous efforts in formulating a new strategy and regulatory framework for healthcare professionals’ licensing and registration, which is in line with international best practice as well as ASEAN standards and requirements.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bounkong Syhavong stressed that this is a new and important structure for the healthcare sector and that its successful implementation also depends on the good cooperation between all ministries and stakeholders involved.

He also reminded the participants that there is still a long way to go until the whole system of registration and licensing of healthcare professionals is fully functional and called upon attendees to keep up their high commitment in jointly operationalising the new regulatory framework and strategy.

Indeed, although the Healthcare Professional Council and Healthcare Professional Boards are soon to be launched, there are still several laws and regulations that need to be newly drafted, reformed and implemented before the new registration and licensing system will be operational.

German Development Cooperation’s regional project in “Support to the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) within the framework of the ASEAN Single Market and Production Base”, which is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaftfur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, has recently engaged in supporting the Ministry of Health in this endeavour.

This regional projectwill work with Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV countries) to enhance regional economic integration in the healthcare and tourism sectors with the aim of ensuring that those four countries gain the most benefit from regional integration.

The reform of the licensing and registration system is a key component in this, as it would allow for the recognition of professional skills between ASEAN member countries.

The regional project will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health, as well as WHO, JICA and other development partners in operationalising Laos’ new registration and licensing strategy with a specific focus on the nursing and midwifery professions.

The project will also focus on supporting knowledge exchange and coordination as well as capacity developmenton national and regional levels.

Source: Lao News Agency