President Jokowi Highlights Three Focuses at ASEAN Plus Three to Bolster Health Resilience
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo underscored potential three focuses of ASEAN Plus Three (APT) in the development of health resilience.
“These three focuses are long-term investments so that the region is better prepared for future pandemics,” President Jokowi said in his speech at the 24th ASEAN Plus Three Summit virtually from the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java province, Wednesday (27/10).
First, enhancing the capacity of national health services is an absolute basis, which serves as the forefront of defense in the face of a pandemic. He highlighted that national health can be the foundation for regional health resilience.
“The national health insurance system must also continue to be strengthened, especially access for marginalized groups. It is necessary to improve the national pandemic mitigation strategies, including collaborating with the WHO Country and Regional Office,” said the President.
Second, medical needs must be met by building reserves for medical needs in the region, the President said. He also said that the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies could be developed into an inventory buffer for regional medical needs.
The production capacity, the President said, must also be strengthened through investment support, transfer of technology, and access to raw materials.
“In a pandemic, regional health funding is needed. The ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund can be bolstered to become the ASEAN Emergency Health Fund,” he added.
Third, the need for strengthening coordination to align policies in dealing with the pandemic. According to him, coordinated handling will have a greater impact on pandemic handling.
“We also need to develop a mechanism for fast and even distribution of medical needs in the regions in times of emergency. For this reason, the ASEAN Emergency Operation Center Network for Public Health must be utilized to the fullest extent,” he remarked. (Presidential Secretariat/UN) (FI/MUR)