Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien speaks at the event. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The European Union (EU) has always been an important partner of the Ministry of Health (MoH) over the past 20 years, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said on November 16 in Hanoi.

Addressing a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam-EU cooperation for improved health care, the minister said the two sides have worked towards a common goal: a health care system toward equity, efficiency and development, thus improving quality of care for meeting the growing and diverse needs of all Vietnamese people.

She hailed the support the EU has provided to Vietnam’s programmes and projects on enhancing the capability of delivering health care services and on developing, promulgating and implementing relevant policies at levels.

The minister cited some examples of effective EU-funded projects, such as the project on health care system development, the health care project for the poor in the Northern mountainous and Central Highlands provinces, and project on enhancing capabilities and performance of the health sector.

She announced that the EU has decided to provide 114 million EUR to fund the second phase of the Health Sector Policy Support Programme. The first phase of the Programme was implemented in the 2010-2014 period with a total budget of 39.5 million EUR.

For his part, Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development praised the achievements Vietnam has made in implementing EU-funded projects on improving health care services’ quality.

The EU, including the EU delegation to Vietnam and EU Member States, was delighted to contribute to the attainment of the health care-related Millennium Development Goals in Vietnam, he affirmed, highlighting the enhancement of health care services for the poor and the plunge in the infant mortality ratio and malaria infections.

On the occasion, the book “20 years of Vietnam-EU Cooperation to Improve Health Care” by the EU Technical Assistance Fund made its debut. The book describes the activities implemented and results achieved in improving health care between 1995 and 2015 with support from the EU and its member states.-VNA