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Brunei
Monday, December 5, 2022
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Brunei
Monday, December 5, 2022
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    Spotlight on rejuvenation of healthcare system

    James Kon

    The need for the rejuvenation of healthcare systems has increased since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic nearly three years ago.

    The pandemic has also catalysed the adoption of digital solutions in healthcare.

    These were underscored 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 in his welcoming remarks at the 2nd ASEAN Digital Public Health Conference yesterday.

    The minister said technology is the key enabler in transforming healthcare systems to provide more personalised care for people in a sustainable manner and mitigate spiralling costs.

    As the world returns to normalcy, he said, it is important to review strategies and steps taken during the pandemic. Health authorities need to take stock of what worked and what could be done better and how they can leverage pandemic-era investments to maximise long-term return on investment.

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said this is especially true in healthcare, which has taken up an outsized share of many governments’ finances in combatting the pandemic.

    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 gives welcoming remarks. PHOTO: JAMES KON

    The minister said as governments conduct this strategic review, they do so against the macro backdrop that the Asian region is expected to undergo tremendous healthcare change such as rapidly ageing population, rising consumer expectations, technological advancements and limited health infrastructure in some countries. All these provide a “perfect storm” to enable governments, taxpayers, providers and consumers to reimagine healthcare delivery and management.

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said Brunei has taken a holistic and coordinated approach to drive the digital transformation of the healthcare system with BruHealth initially developed as a pandemic management tool.

    As COVID-19 has become endemic, BruHealth has evolved into national and individual health management app for both infectious and non-communicable diseases. It allows users to keep track of medical appointments, view health records and also do video consultations with doctors, dietitians or other clinical services. The Brunei Government also ran health promotions including BN on the Move.

    The minister said participants will hear from Singapore on its Healthier SG initiative, Malaysia on its Health White Paper, Brunei on digital health transformation and other regional healthcare and finance experts.

    Attendees will also have the health promotion authorities of the Sultanate and Singapore sharing their experience on how to get their people healthier.

    Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew said the conference was curated to involve key stakeholders ranging from policymakers from both the economic and non-economic sectors, experts and industry practitioners. Participants will see discussions on digital public health and deliberate about how to enable sustainable healthcare financing and maximise investments for the long term.

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