Tuesday, July 25, 2017

State Counsellor to medical staff: be competent, ethical

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi says that Myanmar needs doctors and medical staff who are not only professionally competent but who are also ethically committed to their work.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said that doctors and nurses were in the frontline, meeting and interacting with members of the public. Photo - StaffDaw Aung San Suu Kyi said that doctors and nurses were in the frontline, meeting and interacting with members of the public. Photo - Staff

Speaking at an event at the Myanmar International Convention Center 2 in Nay Pyi Taw last Friday, she said that physicians as well as obstetrics nurses have a critical role in raising the standards of medical care and health in Myanmar.

“The country needs people from the medical profession who possess a high degree of ethics and commitment to their work,” she said at the event announcing the launch of the National Health Plan (2017-2021).

She added that doctors and obstetrics nurses were in the frontline, meeting and interacting with members of the public.

“These support staff are vital and fundamental for the proper functioning of the health sector in the country,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.
She also said rural folk rely heavily on the work done by obstetrics nurses and are a bridge between the doctors and the people.

Towards this end, she said that she was happy to note that the Ministry of Health is undertaking an excellent training program and hopes the public would appreciate the effort.

“Health and education are among the main factors to help a nation move forward. With a healthy and educated population, a nation can overcome all challenges.  An educated and healthy people are the best guarantee for a country’s future,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said.

She also added that the development of Myanmar could be measured by the health and education of its citizens.

“With the efforts of our government, which is doing its best to improve the public’s health, there is no doubt that our public will appreciate and cooperate with the government with the sense that they have a responsibility to look after their own health,” she said.

 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also said that if the aid provided by international organisations for Myanmar’s health sector have been effectively utilised, more aid will pour into the country.

“The National Health Plan is for the public’s health as well as our country’s peace. Efficiency in the various programs will result if the people are healthy. If efficiency is improved, it will go a long way in contributing to the country’s development. A developed nation goes a long way in contributing to a country’s peace and stability.

 “If there is peace and stability, we will be respected by the international community. And this will motivate them to help us more,” she said.
 The National Health Plan is crucial for Myanmar, and the healthcare professionals should acknowledge the fact that everyone can potentially contribute to the country, the State Counsellor said.

“Health care is everyone’s responsibility. I do not want a situation where only the rich can afford health care. If our citizens have faith in our healthcare system and believe that the nation will take care of them, whether they are rich or poor, then it is the greatest gift for our country,” she added.

The five-year national health plan was drafted by the Ministry of Health and Sports, with the help of several UN organisations and technicians from NGOs.

The plan aims to provide affordable health care which is accessible to everyone and to implement a cost-effective basic healthcare system by the year 2020.

Also present at the launch was Dr Myint Htwe, Union Minister for Health and Sports. He said that “even if the National Health Plan is an excellent one, the outcome will be worthless if it is poorly executed.”

“When to implement the plan is currently the most important subject to ponder. Most of the drafted plans are left behind in the cabinets, and to tell you the truth, it is very sad. But I will take full responsibility to make sure the plan is properly implemented. I guarantee this,” he said.
The Union minister said that the National Health Plan will ensure everyone has access to basic health care by reaching out to the cities of different states and regions.

“There are many ways to make that happen. We will educate the people on how to manage their money when they have health problems and the treatment regime needed,” he added.

The National Health Plan is the first step towards the Universal Health Coverage 2030 which guarantees accessible heath care for every citizen.

During the ceremony, Dr Myint Htwe presented the State Counsellor, a souvenir marking the initiation of the National Health Plan (2017- 2021).

– Translation by Win Thaw Tar and Swe Zin Moe