GMS Ministers Launch 5-year Regional Health Cooperation Strategy
Meeting plenary at the 23rd GMS Ministerial Conference held on 18 November 2019 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by Asian Development Bank.
Ministers of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries launched the GMS Health Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023, which provides a framework to guide GMS countries in collectively tackling health issues impacting the subregion through regional cooperation at the 23rd GMS Ministerial Conference (MC-23) held on 18 November 2019 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Increased investment for transport infrastructure and border zone development, while central to GMS country efforts to diversify economies and integrate with regional value chains, carries inherent risk of adverse public health impacts. The Strategy aims to address health-related threats and opportunities emerging from enhanced connectivity and competitiveness by drawing on the subregion’s health leadership, human resource skills, and programming experience.
The Strategy focuses on
- improving GMS health system performance in response to public health threats,
- strengthening protection for vulnerable communities from the health impacts of regional integration, and
- enhancing human resource capacity to respond to priority health issues.
GMS Working Group on Health Cooperation members, government stakeholders, and other partners held extensive consultations to develop this health cooperation strategy, published in June 2019 and endorsed by the Ministry of Health of each GMS member country. Aligned with national health plans, the five-year Strategy will support programming and mobilization of new project financing, focusing on health issues that are regional in nature to realize health and wellbeing shared by all in an integrated, prosperous, and equitable GMS.
About the 23rd GMS Ministerial Conference
The MC-23 was organized by the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), with the theme "Greater Integration, Inclusivity and Sustainability in the GMS.” GMS Ministers and Senior Officials of the six GMS countries met in Phnom Penh on 17–18 November 2019, along with representatives from ADB, development partners, and the private sector to lay the groundwork for the preparation for the 7th GMS Summit of Leaders.