Vietnam awards Friendship Order to WHO Regional Director

By the order of the President of Vietnam, Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien presented to Dr. Shin Young-soo, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific, the Friendship Order of Vietnam yesterday, during an awarding ceremony at the Ministry of Health in Hanoi.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien presents Vietnam’s Friendship Order to Dr. Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific (Photo: Coutersy of WHO)

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien presents Vietnam’s Friendship Order to Dr. Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific (Photo: Coutersy of WHO)

The Friendship Order is a service award of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam given to non-Vietnamese individuals or organizations that have “made great contributions to building, consolidating and developing the friendship between Vietnam and other countries and organizations in the world.”
“Dr. Shin has walked hand in hand with the Government of Vietnam as we strengthened our primary health care system. He had direct engagement in policy dialogues – not only within the health sector, but also with the National Assembly – and provided strategic guidance that had played a critical role as we continue to advance our journey towards universal health coverage,” said Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien.
During his term as WHO Regional Director, Dr Shin has actively advocated for the enhancement of primary health care in Vietnam through an increased health insurance funds allocation. In 2018, health insurance coverage has been expanded to 87 percent from 60 percent in 2010).
Dr Shin also supported the country’s work in strengthening grassroots health network as foundation for primary health care, scaling up hospital management, and improving health financing.
“It is wonderful to see the progress that has been made towards universal health coverage in Vietnam over the last decade – thanks to political commitment at the highest levels. From 60percent of people with health insurance coverage, we are now at 87 percent. I hope that Vietnam will reach 100 percent in the not too distant future", Dr Shin said.
Dr Shin has served as the WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific since 2009.

By UYEN PHUONG

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