Vietnam and the European Union (EU) signed a financial agreement valued at 114 million EUR for the second phase of the EU Health Sector Policy Support Programme (EU-HSPSP-2) in Vietnam , in Hanoi on December 4.

The deal, signed by Minister of Finance Dinh Tien Dung and Europe Aid’s Director for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and Pacific Pierre Amilhat, aims to support Vietnam in restructuring its health sector and implementing reform plans and programmes for 2015-17 period.

The EU-HSPSP-2 targets sustainable poverty reduction and harmony growth in Vietnam through assistance in boosting the health care sector towards fairness, efficiency and quality as set forth in the health sector development strategy.

The programme is expected to help the Vietnamese health sector fulfill its 2011-15 goals.

It also contributes to the building of health care policy and plans for the 2016-20 period, focusing on speeding up the roadmap to promote the coverage of health care services nationwide and improve the service quality at local levels, thus easing the overload at central hospitals.

At the signing ceremony, the two sides pledged to successfully realise the programme as part of efforts to continue the 20-year-long cooperation between the Health Ministry and the EU.

Currently, the EU is the biggest donor and the second largest trade partner of Viet Nam . The two sides are negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement which is hoped to be signed in 2015.-VNA