Vietnam seeks to enhance healthcare collaboration with Switzerland

Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan had a meeting with Thomas Gass, the Swiss Ambassador in Vietnam, to discuss various areas of collaboration in the healthcare sector.

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Vietnam desires to enhance cooperation with Switzerland in the fields of pharmaceutical manufacturing and technology transfer, as reported by VOV, Health Minister Dao Hong Lan conveyed to Swiss Ambassador Thomas Gass during a reception in Hanoi on December 7.

Lan praised the effective collaboration between the two countries in various sectors, including healthcare. Switzerland provided Vietnam with emergency assistance during the peak of the pandemic, which included 30 oxygen ventilators, 500,000 antigen test kits, and 300,000 respiratory masks, with a total value of CHF 4.66 million (USD 5.3 million).

Vietnam Wishes to Increase Health Cooperation with Switzerland
An overview of the working session in Hanoi on December 7 between Health Minister Dao Hong Lan and Swiss Ambassador Thomas Gass. Photo: Ministry of Health

Health Minister Dao Hong Lan informed the ambassador that the ministry has approved aid to support the diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals with leprosy and psoriasis, as well as providing training to doctors and medical staff in Dien Bien, Hoa Binh, Lang Son, Quang Nam, and Dak Lak provinces by the Vietnam – Switzerland Anti-Leprosy Association, with a total aid capital of over USD 60,000 to support the Central Dermatology Hospital.

Recently, the relationship between Vietnam and Switzerland has focused primarily on the pharmaceutical sector. According to a report by the Drug Administration of Vietnam, the Ministry has issued circulation registration licenses for numerous Swiss-manufactured medicinal products.

Given the vast potential for medical cooperation, the Health Minister proposed that Swiss pharmaceutical companies transfer technology to produce patented drugs, vaccines, and biological products that Vietnam is unable to produce at present.

She also suggested that Switzerland support the Drug Administration of Vietnam through training and capacity-building for GMP (good manufacturing practices) inspectors.

Vietnam Wishes to Increase Health Cooperation with Switzerland
Swiss Ambassador Thomas Gass. Photo: Ministry of Health

Lan mentioned that Vietnam is amending the Pharmacy Law and is encouraging foreign businesses, including Swiss companies, to provide their opinions on drug distribution, drug registration, and other related issues of concern.

She expressed her belief that future cooperation between Vietnam and Switzerland would continue to yield significant results, contributing to the development of bilateral relations, particularly in the fields of health, and the protection and care of people’s health.

Ambassador Gass, for his part, stated that he would personally urge pharmaceutical firms to provide their opinions on major concerns. He also affirmed his commitment to promoting the cooperative relationship between the two sides in general, and the health sector in particular.

Hannah Nguyen