Brunei to host ASEAN public health forum

Brunei Darussalam will host the Special Ministerial Conference for ASEAN Digital Public Health themed ‘Collaborate for Happier and Healthier World Post Pandemic” on October 6 and 7.

It is a first of its kind collaboration led by the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), Ministry of Health (MoH) and Brunei Investment Agency (BIA) in partnership with EVYD Technology Limited and Temasek Foundation.

The conference highlights the urgency for ASEAN leaders to collaborate and strategise viable and sustainable solutions to build resilient healthcare systems that can withstand the challenges ahead and initiate economic recovery.

The coming together of such influential set of stakeholders under one conference is testimony of Brunei’s growing leadership role in the region and its own journey towards digital health transformation.

The deliberations and way forward will be of huge significance as COVID-19 and the Delta variant outbreak have exposed vulnerabilities in global healthcare systems, reinforcing the need for regional collaboration in navigating a pandemic of this scale.

According to the Institute of International Finance (IIF) , renewed lockdowns and the outbreak of the COVID-19 Delta variant have cast a negative impact on the economic recovery of ASEAN member states.

Technology continues to evolve, and this will, in turn, be a driver of continuous transformation in health systems around the world.

Healthcare professionals embracing the use of digital health technology are seeing a positive impact on their own experience, as well as that of their patients.

Digitally empowered patients sharing their health data are seeing a strengthened relationship with healthcare professionals.

Recognising the urgency to strengthen digital healthcare infrastructure, Brunei is hosting this conference alongside its partners as a shared platform to create awareness on the importance of collaboration, cross-learning, research and digitalisation in empowering scientific policymaking to improve public healthcare.

The significance of the two-day conference is reflected through the participation of some of the most credible and influential thought leaders across the industry. Over a span of two days, the attendees will see participation of over 50 speakers, beginning with opening remarks by ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi and welcome remarks by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah and Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar.

Highlights of the conference first day are four panels, two keynote sessions and a fireside chat. Day one focusses on discussions around lessons learnt from COVID-19, the role of research and digitalisation in shaping public health policies, and the success story of China in pandemic control.

Day two will focus on ‘Collaborating in Public Health’, a panel discussion reiterating the importance of intra-regional collaboration, and the need to fund transnational research and educational programmes to raise the standards of healthcare followed by a keynote session on ‘Living with COVID-19’, which defines what the ‘new normal’ is, and how regional economies can recover despite the pandemic.

As part of EVYD Technology’s commitment to support ASEAN’s public healthcare systems, it will formally launch the EVYD Knowledge Hub in Brunei during the conference. EVYD Knowledge Hub serves as a community platform aiming to engage and connect key stakeholders including policymakers, health authorities, researchers, academia, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), philanthropies, and industry experts in the public healthcare sector. Recognising the efficacy of big data and artificial intelligence (AI) in optimising sharper insights and outcomes for public health research, EVYD Knowledge Hub hopes to promote the use of science and technology in transforming public health policymaking, ensuring that the region is well-prepared in the face of emerging pandemics – starting with this conference.

The conference will gather over 50 key stakeholders across the ASEAN region, including ministers of health, finance and economy, public health policymakers, researchers and industry experts.

The conference will focus on regional collaboration, cross-learning, research and digitalisation in empowering scientific policymaking in healthcare.