The Philippines and the Sultanate of Brunei recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Health Cooperation to identify and address gaps in each country’s health sector, allowing Filipino doctors and other medical professionals to work in Brunei.
“This MOU will enable both countries to collaborate specifically on initiatives under the Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) in 2013-2020 as reiterated in the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on NCDs in ASEAN,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona declared.
The health chief also stated that the MOU aims to implement reform programs in health, particularly in the achievement of universal health care which aims to ensure access to quality health services.
The MOU will identify gaps in both countries’ health sector and closely collaborate through mutual health cooperation activities to address these gaps. The areas of cooperation identified by the MOU include 1) public health including promotion, disease prevention and control; 2) medical and health research development; 3) capacity building for the health profession; 4) disaster preparedness and emergency medical services; 5) quality assurance including accreditation of health facilities and services; 6) health enforcement and regulations; and others.
Through the MOU, the country and Brunei would prepare an action plan with implementation of programs and related activities in the respective countries through the exchange of information, experiences, and good practices as well as exchange of visits and expert services as appropriate.
“A significant aspect of this MOU is that it allows Filipino doctors and other medical professionals to work in Brunei for short-term periods to complement Brunei’s medical workforce, particularly in specialty areas such as cardiology, nephrology, cancer treatment, among others,” Ona revealed.
The MOU was signed by Secretary Ona and Brunei’s Minister of Health Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd. Yusof during an official visit recently to the Sultanate.
After the signing, Secretary Ona was received in audience by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam at Istana Nurul Iman, the Sultan’s official residence and Brunei’s seat of government.