President U Htin Kyaw said yesterday that Myanmar is committed to achieving Universal Health Coverage by 2030, expressing his hope that every Myanmar citizen, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or socioeconomic situation, will be able to receive quality healthcare without financial hardship.
The President made his remarks in his opening speech atthe Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Forum in Tokyo yesterday morning together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and Senegalese President Macky Sall.
“Since our democratically-elected government took office on 30 March 2016, we have been exerting all-out efforts to fulfill the desires of our people for democracy, peace and national reconciliation. Peace and security are essential elements to carry out health care activities efficiently under the overall framework of UHC”, U Htin Kyaw said. “To provide better quality health services to our people is the top priority of
our government’s development agenda”.
Underlying the critical role of health sector in our nation-building efforts, key stakeholders including the government, ethnic nationalities, civil society, private sector, and development partners, jointly formulated the National Health Plan (2017-2021) with an overall aim of achieving the UHC by 2030, he added.
“Given our financial and technical constraints, we have identified key strategic areas to focus on our first steps towards the URC, namely: defining the content and delivering an essential package of health services; developing a national
health financing strategy; and strengthening functions of the health system to be able to provide quality services,” said the President.
President U Htin Kyaw also urged like-minded partners from within and outside of Myanmar to cooperate closely to overcome the challenges the country is facing. “Myanmar, being an emerging democratic and developing country, is facing a variety of challenges from all aspects such as political, economic and social. We consider the challenges as opportunities,” said U Htin Kyaw.
“Everyone has a role to play in overcoming the challenges and achieving UHC in Myanmar, and therefore, people will need to be educated with knowledge of primary health literacy and also empowered to lead a healthy lifestyle”, he added.
The President said Myanmar’s progress so far could not have been achieved without the help of Japan.
“The Government of Myanmar thanks the Government of Japan for their contribution on our way towards UHC.
The Government of Japan’s continuous support to the Myanmar health sector has dated back to the seventies. With the support of the Government of Japan, officials from Myanmar Ministry of Health and Sports have had the privilege of accessing state-of-the-art knowledge in many Japanese institutions.