Health & Life Sciences Update: October 4, 2018

Health & Life Sciences Update | October 4, 2018
Authors: Shay Wester, Hai Pham, Lucius Lee and Tra Nguyen
 
LOOKING AHEAD
 
 
October 30-31, 2018: Mission to the 36th ASEAN Ministers of Energy Meeting (AMEM):  Register here for the US-ASEAN Business Council’s Business Mission to the 36th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in Singapore. The mission will take place Tuesday, October 30, to Wednesday, October 31, and will consist of bilateral meetings with ASEAN Energy Ministers and relevant AMEM Dialogue Partners. The deadline for receipt of registration and mission materials is Tuesday, October 16. For more information, please contact Riley Smith (rsmith@usasean.org).
 
THE COUNCIL'S TAKE
 
 

Malaysian Government Considering Soda Tax
In late August, Malaysia’s new Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir announced that the government is considering implementing a soda tax as a policy instrument to reduce sugar consumption and improve public health. According to the Prime Minister, the move is aimed at helping to combat diabetes. Malaysia has the highest diabetes rate in Asia and one of the highest in the world. The government had previously released proposals for a similar tax at the ministerial level, but the Prime Minister stressed that it will be highly likely this time. While the government has not introduced an actual plan or guidelines since the announcement, the upcoming review of the Malaysia Plan and Budget 2019 due November 2 by the Parliament will shed more light on the Prime Minister’s suggestion.

In Southeast Asia, taxes on soda or sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) have been introduced in Thailand, Brunei and the Philippines. Last year, Brunei introduced its own SSB tax while Thailand increased tax on sugary drinks and slashed taxes on sugar-free beverages. Laos and Cambodia imposed a 5% and 10% tax on soft drinks respectively. The Philippines recently imposed its own form of a SSB tax, with beverages containing high fructose corn syrup being taxed at a higher rate. Despite the Council’s advocacy efforts on the proposed SSB tax, the TRAIN 1 tax package was eventually approved and began implementation this January. While not yet a full year into implementation, revenue generated from the rising prices due to the SSB tax has not reached what the Government had originally projected – further, many consumers have reacted negatively to the tax, while some businesses in the affected sector have made moves to exit the market. With respect to other countries, Vietnam is proposing a 10 - 20% special consumption tax that, if passed, will go into effect in 2019. Other countries such as Indonesia and Singapore are also studying the issue, weighing a range of measures including taxes and more stringent advertising bans and warning labels.

SSB taxes have continued to gain momentum across the globe. Governments claim that the tax helps reduce consumer demand for unhealthy foods and beverages and improve the food environment. Opponents of sugar taxes have cited numerous studies showing little evidence of changes in behavior, underwhelming revenue generation, detrimental consequences to the lower-class population, and in some cases, WTO violations. The Council will continue to track the development of a potential soda tax by the Malaysian government.

Electronic Medical Records Prove Benefits in Pilot Project in Vietnam
In the last few years, the Government of Vietnam has been leveraging information and technology to support the growth of its healthcare sector by creating numerous initiatives to transform Vietnam’s healthcare system, via telemedicine, e-healthcare and smart healthcare initiatives. Last year, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced a plan to spend VND5 trillion ($220 million) on creating a nationwide system of electronic medical records (EMR) and launched an EMR pilot project. The project introduced software to compile citizens’ medical records in one electronic database in eight cities and provinces including Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. After months of trial, experts have concluded that keeping medical records in an electronic database offers benefits to citizens and healthcare service providers.

EMR is a record management system that synchronizes all available data about a person’s health from various sources such as hospitals, clinics, doctors, pharmacies and laboratories. Each individual is given an identification number associated with his or her electronic health record. The medical record is set to promptly and accurately provide the health status of a person to healthcare facilities. It provides doctors with medical information necessary for early detection of diseases and prevention of severe complications and emergencies. It helps streamline medical examination process so that patients may skip repeated, unnecessary tests. It is also expected to offer accurate data for the policy planning process in the health sector. Participating patients and hospitals were satisfied with the convenience of the system during this pilot project. In order to expand the system nationwide in July next year in accordance with MOH’s plan, more equipment, training and resources are needed. Schools, agencies, organizations will have to collaborate to get medical information from citizens.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said a nationwide system of electronic health records is important to the development of e-healthcare and smart healthcare in the era of Industry 4.0. It will contribute to the modernization of the healthcare sector and satisfy people’s medical needs. Vietnam’s healthcare system is dealing with many of the same challenges faced by other emerging markets – these include rising demand and expectations from a hospital sector that is struggling with overcrowding, poor access, insufficient service and wide disparities of resources distributions between urban and rural areas. Fortunately, the digital economy can plug the healthcare gap in these markets on a mass scale, at a relatively low cost. The healthcare services industry in Southeast Asia is growing rapidly and represents an area of opportunity for businesses and governments to work together to help improve the lives of citizens in Southeast Asia.

 
ADVOCACY UPDATE
 
 

US-ASEAN Business Council Commitment to Every Woman Every Child
On September 25 during “Uniting for Every Woman Every Child,” a High-level Reception co-organized by Every Woman Every Child Secretariat, the Government of India and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings, the Council’s President & CEO Alexander Feldman announced a new commitment to the Every Woman Every Child movement on behalf of the US-ASEAN Business Council and its members. Under this new initiative, the Council will commit to promoting the values and goals of the Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016-2030) through mutual collaboration with ASEAN governments and the American Business Community. The Council looks forward to working closely with its Health & Life Sciences members to help improve the health of women and children in ASEAN in the years to come. For more information, please contact Hai Pham at hpham@usasean.org.

Call for Input: Thailand's Innovation List
The Council is currently seeking Members' feedback on how Thailand's Innovation List affects U.S. healthcare companies and any other related issues or recommendations. Introduced in 2015, the Innovation List includes products deemed to have been developed or improved through research and development by Thai majority-owned companies. Companies with healthcare products on the Innovation List are granted special government procurement privileges. For example, Thai public hospitals are mandated to spend at least 30% of their budget on Innovation List products without undergoing a public procurement process. 

The deadline for Members to submit feedback and recommendations is COB Friday, October 12, 2018 (SGT). The Council will use Members' input to update the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and other stakeholders, and in our engagements with the Thai Government. Please contact Lucius Lee at llee@usasean.org with any questions or feedback.

 
IN THIS UPDATE
 
 
Regional Affairs
Asean tobacco atlas reveals how Thailand is fighting back against killer

Indonesia
EU Offers Support to Indonesia After Quake, Tsunami in Sulawesi
Methanol poisoning: 1,603 raids, 129 arrests in crackdown on bootleg liquor
Kalla: Indonesia Rejects US Hospital Ship Aid for Quake Victims
Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 925
Government Urged to Increase Aid to Quake-hit Victims
Quake Toll Jumps to 832 Dead as Rescuers Struggle
Damaged Roads Hinder Distribution of Aid Supplies
Aceh Ulema Council: MR Vaccine Allowed in Emergency Condition

Laos
Laos Tests Proven Approach To Tackle Malnutrition

Malaysia
Melaka police seize drugs worth over RM1.29m
Govt to review law forcing max hospital fees for private cancer referrals
Higher survival rate in private hospitals
Customs seizes 4,000 litres of bootleg liquor
Health minister: Malaysia committed to end tuberculosis epidemic by 2035
Malaysia in Talks to Become First in Asia to Allow Medical Pot
Health Ministry against Sabah mufti’s proposal to lower marriageable age
19 deaths due to alcohol poisoning a national disaster — K. Sudhagaran Stanley

Myanmar
Urban areas see growing number of elderly populations | Eleven Myanmar
WHO helps govt bring epilepsy fight to Mon
Medicine importers urged to weather kyat’s woes

Philippines
Manila government opens HIV/AIDS center
Construction site suspected in PCMC dengue outbreak
15 dengue deaths may be linked to Dengvaxia
PDEA dismantles drug lab in Pasay
Most Pinoys happy with drug war– SWS
Food poisoning downs 98 in Muntinlupa
29 dead, dozens still missing in Cebu landslide

Singapore
KKH investigating allegation that expired nasal spray was given to baby
SingHealth, NUH to stop using agents by end of Oct
MOH puts a stop to foreign patient referral contracts
Steroids found in 2 juice drinks from Malaysia
Singapore: 'Scientific evidence' to guide cannabis law
Asia's first kiosks for learning hands-only CPR launched in Singapore
Singapore puts health at the heart of green buildings

Thailand
Apisak stymies proposed cigarette tax
Medical marijuana trials to start soon
Marijuana for Medicinal Use to be Legal ‘Within Eight Months’ in Thailand
FDA revokes licences for two brands of mosquito coil
Thai police hand over 100 kilos of marijuana for research
Dengue Outbreak in Thailand Expands 19% in One Month
Mixed reactions to Finance Ministry’s cigarette tax hike  proposal
FDA seizes ฿30m worth of illegal weight-loss products, food supplements
Oversupply of drugs in Mekong, East Asia puts younger users at...
Activists give thumbs up to tobacco tax move
Administrative Court rejects tobacco companies’ appeal against graphic health warning
Thailand police hand over 100 kilos of marijuana for medical research
Thai healthcare gets a global nod of approval
Legalized medicinal cannabis proposals

Vietnam
Hanoi rapid alert system to tackle food safety violations
Disease season peaks in south
Hanoi readies healthcare for aging population
Increase on special consumption tax vital to reduce smoking
90 percent of Vietnamese want tobacco tax raised: survey
Vietnam ready for production of two influenza vaccines
Electronic medical records prove their benefits in pilot project
Investors set ambition in Vietnam’s drug distribution system
Aging population presents challenges
Hà Nội health insurance fund running a deficit
 
ARTICLE CLIPS
 
 
Regional Affairs

Asean tobacco atlas reveals how Thailand is fighting back against killer The Nation 27th Sep 2018
Among more than 7 million people killed by tobacco-caused diseases globally each year, more than 500,000 occur in Southeast Asia according to the fourth edition of the Asean Tobacco Control Atlas released yesterday by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) on the occasion of the 3rd UN High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases taking place in New York today.

Indonesia

EU Offers Support to Indonesia After Quake, Tsunami in Sulawesi Tempo 3rd Oct 2018
High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management of the European Union (EU), Christos Stylianides has offered support to Indonesia after a quake and a tsunami hit Sulawesi Island. The EU issued the following statement:

Methanol poisoning: 1,603 raids, 129 arrests in crackdown on bootleg liquor Malay Mail 3rd Oct 2018
In a dragnet following the 45 deaths from methanol poisoning nationwide, the Customs Department has caught 129 suspects and seized 17,374 litres of counterfeit liquor in 1,063 raids to date.

Kalla: Indonesia Rejects US Hospital Ship Aid for Quake Victims Tempo 2nd Oct 2018
Vice President Jusuf Kalla or JK said the Indonesian government rejected the hospital ship aid offered by the U.S. President Donald Trump to quake-hit Palu and Donggala, Central Sulawesi.

Indonesia Tsunami Death Toll Rises to 925 Tempo 2nd Oct 2018
Col. Inf. Muh. Thohir, head of the Military Area Information XIII/Merdeka, said that as of October 1st the number of lives taken by last week's earthquake and tsunami in Palu, Central Sulawesi, reached 925.

Government Urged to Increase Aid to Quake-hit Victims Tempo 1st Oct 2018
House speaker Bambang Soesatyo has urged the government, military, and national police to increase the scale of relief operations after the earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi province.

Quake Toll Jumps to 832 Dead as Rescuers Struggle Tempo 30th Sep 2018
The toll from an earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi island, Indonesia soared on Sunday to 832 confirmed dead, with authorities fearing it will only climb as rescuers struggle to reach outlying communities cut off from communications and help.

Damaged Roads Hinder Distribution of Aid Supplies Tempo 30th Sep 2018
Social Affairs Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said that aid supplies sent to quake and tsunami victims in Central Sulawesi had not yet reached the locations. Damage to the access roads hindered the distribution of aid supplies.

Aceh Ulema Council: MR Vaccine Allowed in Emergency Condition Tempo 20th Sep 2018
The Aceh Ulema Council (MPU) chairman Muslim Ibrahim said Measles Rubella (MR) vaccine is allowed in an emergency condition.

Laos

Laos Tests Proven Approach To Tackle Malnutrition Lao News Agency 20th Sep 2018
The Lao PDR will test a new cross-cutting and evidence-based approach to reducing stunting in four northern provinces with support from the World Bank. Representatives from the Ministries of Planning and Investment, Agriculture, Public Works and Transport, and Health, together with the World Bank, met today to discuss this strategy, which targets not only healthcare, but also diversified food production, improved hygiene, and social welfare programmes.

Malaysia

Melaka police seize drugs worth over RM1.29m Malay Mail 3rd Oct 2018
Melaka police seized various drugs estimated to be worth at more than RM1.29 million in two separate cases in the Melaka Tengah and Alor Gajah districts here yesterday.

Govt to review law forcing max hospital fees for private cancer referrals Malay Mail 2nd Oct 2018
The Health Ministry will review a law that forces public hospitals to charge top tier prices on cancer patients referred from private or university hospitals.

Higher survival rate in private hospitals The Star 2nd Oct 2018
A study comparing a public hospital and its private wing has shown that the private section has a higher overall breast cancer survival rate (more than five years) than the public side, says the National Cancer Society of Malaysia.

Customs seizes 4,000 litres of bootleg liquor Malay Mail 28th Sep 2018
The Customs Department has seized over 4,000 litres of bootleg alcohol in 220 raids in the Klang Valley, amid a spate of methanol poisonings that has killed 40 people to date.

Health minister: Malaysia committed to end tuberculosis epidemic by 2035 Malay Mail 27th Sep 2018
Malaysia is committed to end tuberculosis (TB) epidemic by year 2035, said Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Malaysia in Talks to Become First in Asia to Allow Medical Pot Bloomberg 25th Sep 2018
Public outrage over a death penalty handed to a 29-year-old man is spurring Malaysia to start talks to legalize marijuana for medical use, racing to become the first Asian country to do so.

Health Ministry against Sabah mufti’s proposal to lower marriageable age Malay Mail 24th Sep 2018
The Ministry of Health is against the proposal to lower the minimum marriageable age to 14 for girls and 16 for boys, said its Deputy Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye.

19 deaths due to alcohol poisoning a national disaster — K. Sudhagaran Stanley Malay Mail 20th Sep 2018
The recent incident where 19 people died due to alcohol poisoning is a national disaster. Fifty others are hospitalized with some of them being in serious condition. This incident proves that the government has completely failed and taken the wrong approach in regards to taxation on alcohol beverages.

Myanmar

Urban areas see growing number of elderly populations | Eleven Myanmar Eleven Myanmar 2nd Oct 2018
The number of senior citizens aged 85 and above who are entitled to social pension has reached 140,000. The government will designate the age of senior citizens who will be entitled to the social pension scheme at 85 starting 2018-2019 fiscal year. With the aim of ensuring the income security of older persons, the government introduced the social pension scheme for the senior citizens aged 90 and above, in 2017-2018 FY. At that time, the number of senior citizens entitled to the social pension reached 43,439.

WHO helps govt bring epilepsy fight to Mon The Myanmar Times 24th Sep 2018
The government, with the help of the World Health Organisation, will take its Myanmar Epilepsy Initiative to Mon State in December, a senior consultant of Yangon General Hospital said. U San Oo, of the hospital’s Department of Neurology and manager of the initiative, said the programme will provide adequate care to people afflicted with the debilitating neurological disorder in eight of Mon’s 10 townships.

Medicine importers urged to weather kyat’s woes The Myanmar Times 24th Sep 2018
A national trade group has urged importers and exporters of medicine and medical equipment to charge fair prices and not interrupt supplies to hospitals, clinics, doctors and patients because of the US dollar’s high exchange rate. “Our association has no administrative power, so we appeal to importers and exporters of medicine and medical equipment, in the spirit of public service, to continue selling medicine,” said U Zaw Moe Khine, chairman of the Myanmar Pharmaceuticals and Medical Equipment Entrepreneurs’ Association.

Philippines

Manila government opens HIV/AIDS center The Philippines Star 1st Oct 2018
The Manila city government has inaugurated a health facility as part of its campaign to reduce the rising cases of HIV/AIDS in the city. Read more at https://www.philstar.com/nation/2018/10/01/1856127/manila-government-ope...

Construction site suspected in PCMC dengue outbreak Manila Times 29th Sep 2018
After hospital grounds of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) were cleared of potential breeding sites for dengue carrying mosquitoes, the Health department is looking at a nearby construction site that could have harbored the mosquitoes.

15 dengue deaths may be linked to Dengvaxia Manila Times 28th Sep 2018
Fifteen confirmed cases of children who have died of dengue, and with prior dengue vaccination, are being considered by the Department of Health (DoH) as possibly linked to the Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine, an official said.

PDEA dismantles drug lab in Pasay Manila Times 27th Sep 2018
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) dismantled a kitchen-type “shabu” laboratory in a condominium unit in Pasay City and seized a large volume of drugs.

Most Pinoys happy with drug war– SWS Manila Times 24th Sep 2018
MAJORITY of Filipinos are satisfied with the Duterte administration’s war on drugs, according to a survey of the Social Weather Stations

Food poisoning downs 98 in Muntinlupa Manila Times 24th Sep 2018
NINETY-EIGHT indigent residents of Makabuhay Compound in Poblacion, Muntinlupa were hospitalized after attending the city’s feeding program on Saturday.

29 dead, dozens still missing in Cebu landslide Manila Times 22nd Sep 2018
The death toll from the landslide in Naga, Cebu climbed up to 29 on Friday, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police.

Singapore

KKH investigating allegation that expired nasal spray was given to baby Straits Times 2nd Oct 2018
The KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) said on Tuesday (Oct 2) that it is investigating an allegation that an expired nasal spray was given to a baby at the hospital.

SingHealth, NUH to stop using agents by end of Oct The Straits Times 30th Sep 2018
NUH has reviewed its use of service providers and has decided to discontinue the practice by the end of next month.

MOH puts a stop to foreign patient referral contracts The Straits Times 30th Sep 2018
The Health Ministry (MOH) has told public hospitals to terminate all contracts with foreign agents who refer patients from overseas, after The Sunday Times highlighted the existence of such a practice.

Steroids found in 2 juice drinks from Malaysia The Straits Times 28th Sep 2018
The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned the public to avoid buying and consuming two juice drink products from Malaysia after they were found to have caused serious steroid-induced side effects in at least five people, including a child.

Singapore: 'Scientific evidence' to guide cannabis law Bangkok Post 28th Sep 2018
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reiterated that any review of Singapore’s position on cannabis will have to be “based on scientific evidence."

Asia's first kiosks for learning hands-only CPR launched in Singapore The Straits Times 29th Sep 2018
Members of the public can learn more about cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at eight CPR kiosks unveiled on Saturday (Sept 29), the first such booths in Asia. The Singapore Heart Foundation, in collaboration with the Singapore Resuscitation and First Aid Council (SRFAC), launched the self-learning kiosks to raise awareness of the life-saving skill.

Singapore puts health at the heart of green buildings Eco-Business 27th Sep 2018
On the final day of this year’s International Green Building Conference, Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority unveils new strategies that put occupants at the center of green building design and operations.

Thailand

Apisak stymies proposed cigarette tax Bangkok Post 2nd Oct 2018
The Public Health Ministry's proposed tax hike legislation on cigarette packs, aimed at subsidising expenses of the gold card healthcare scheme, has to comply with the Finance Ministry's fiscal discipline...

Medical marijuana trials to start soon Bangkok Post 2nd Oct 2018
The Government Pharmaceutical Organisation (GPO) will start clinical trials of marijuana soon as a preliminary step to producing medicines for four diseases, it said Tuesday.

Marijuana for Medicinal Use to be Legal ‘Within Eight Months’ in Thailand Chiangrai Times 27th Sep 2018
Thailand’s Governmental Pharmac-eutical Organisation (GPO) has begun researching how to develop medicines from marijuana in acknowledgement of evidence that the outlawed substance has health-enhancing properties. It is also seeking to initiate a legal amendment that would permit cannabis for medicinal use, possibly by May next year.

FDA revokes licences for two brands of mosquito coil Bangkok Post 26th Sep 2018
The Food and Drug Administration has revoked the licences for two brands of mosquito coil after finding unregistered chemicals in the products.

Thai police hand over 100 kilos of marijuana for research AP News 25th Sep 2018
Thai police on Tuesday handed over around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of seized marijuana for medical research, as officials seek to produce pot-based medication.

Dengue Outbreak in Thailand Expands 19% in One Month Precision Vaccinations 3rd Oct 2018
Thailand’s ongoing Dengue virus outbreak has now been confirmed in 39,268 cases, from 77 provinces during 2018. The Thailand National Disease Surveillance Report published on October 1, 2018, reflects a 19 percent increase of Dengue cases in just 1 month.

Mixed reactions to Finance Ministry’s cigarette tax hike  proposal Thai PBS World 3rd Oct 2018
The Finance Ministry’s plan to seek the Cabinet’s approval on a new rise in excise taxes that will result in the retail prices of cigarette being raised by 2 baht per pack has drawn mixed reactions.

FDA seizes ฿30m worth of illegal weight-loss products, food supplements National News Bureau of Thailand 3rd Oct 2018
A large amount of weight-loss products and food supplements containing the banned additive, sibutramine, have been seized during raids on four premises in Bangkok and neighboring provinces on Wednesday (Oct 3)

Oversupply of drugs in Mekong, East Asia puts younger users at... Reuters 3rd Oct 2018
Production and trafficking of illicit drugs have reached unprecedented levels in Southeast Asia’s Mekong region and East Asia, the United Nations said on Tuesday, warning that oversupply increases the risks for younger users.

Activists give thumbs up to tobacco tax move The Nation 2nd Oct 2018
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday said that a plan to collect an extra Bt2 from every cigarette packet sold was in the process of consideration, even as anti-smoking and health advocates backed the idea of the additional money being used to fund the universal healthcare scheme. A source at the Public Health Ministry said the proposal required cooperation and approval from the Finance Ministry before it could be forwarded to the Cabinet for approval. Prayut told reporters yesterday that the proposal was still in the process of consideration.

Administrative Court rejects tobacco companies’ appeal against graphic health warning Thai PBS World 28th Sep 2018
The Central Administrative Court has rejected an appeal of tobacco companies to revoke Public Health Ministry’s graphic health warning covering 85 percent of cigarette packs on ground that the ministry is legally bound to protect the health of the public.

Thailand police hand over 100 kilos of marijuana for medical research Stuff 27th Sep 2018
Thai police on Tuesday handed over around 100 kilograms of seized marijuana for medical research, as officials seek to produce pot-based medication. Sophon Mekthon, chairman of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation, said researchers chose high-quality marijuana from police to conduct medical research, selecting from batches of seized imported marijuana and taking some local strains of cannabis that police had recently confiscated.

Thai healthcare gets a global nod of approval The Nation 24th Sep 2018
The Prime Minister yesterday praised the country for “leapfrogging” the global healthcare efficiency rankings, but health activists called for higher funding to ensure sustainability. "Our healthcare system will be even more efficient if the government ensures enough funding. The government should not view the healthcare system and people’s health as a burden,” Nimit Tien-udom, director of the Aids Access Foundation, said.

Legalized medicinal cannabis proposals National News Bureau of Thailand 22nd Sep 2018
Invoking Article 44 of the interim constitution to legalize medical marijuana is merely an idea raised by the academic sector, says Deputy Prime Minister ACM Prajin Juntong.

Vietnam

Hanoi rapid alert system to tackle food safety violations Vietnam Net 1st Oct 2018
The People’s Committee of Hà Nội has approved a plan to deploy a rapid alert system on food safety for the 2018-20 period.

Disease season peaks in south Vietnam Net 28th Sep 2018
Hospitals in the southern region have admitted many patients diagnosed with hand-foot-mouth disease, measles or upper respiratory infections as the peak season (September and October) for contagious diseases has arrived.

Hanoi readies healthcare for aging population Vietnam Net 28th Sep 2018
It is believed that Vietnamese people in their old age should live with their children under one roof to receive their offspring’s care. Taking care of parents is also a sign of piety. Today, however, as grown-up children lead busy lives and pursue ambitious careers in cities far from their hometowns, many old people are left lonely.

Increase on special consumption tax vital to reduce smoking Vietnam Net 27th Sep 2018
The new cigarette tax rate of 5,000 VND (0.2 USD) per pack will help reduce the rate of tobacco consumption and increase the State budget, health experts have said.

90 percent of Vietnamese want tobacco tax raised: survey VnExpress International 27th Sep 2018
Most Vietnamese want the tax on tobacco raised as a means to reduce smoking, a survey has found.

Vietnam ready for production of two influenza vaccines Vietnam Net 25th Sep 2018
The Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) has completed the clinical trials of two types of seasonal influenza vaccine, which are expected to receive approval for commercial use in 2019, said Dr Le Van Be, head of the institute.

Electronic medical records prove their benefits in pilot project Vietnam News 3rd Oct 2018
Keeping medical records in an electronic database brings benefits to citizens and healthcare facilities, experts have concluded thanks to a pilot project launched in June.

Investors set ambition in Vietnam’s drug distribution system Vietnam Net Bridge 3rd Oct 2018
More investors have planned to take part in the country’s medicine retail system through merger and acquisition (M&A), expecting to gain higher value from owning completed chains from production to distribution.

Aging population presents challenges Vietnam News 2nd Oct 2018
Responding to population aging should be a priority issue and require timely measures to prepare for more older people in the coming years. Read more at http://vietnamnews.vn/society/467015/aging-population-presents-challenge...

Hà Nội health insurance fund running a deficit Vietnam News 26th Sep 2018
Hà Nội’s health insurance fund suffered a deficit of more than VNĐ500 billion (US$21.4 million) in the first half of this year, according to Nguyễn Đức Hòa, director of Hà Nội Social Insurance.