State Counsellor addresses the ceremony for Informing the Initiation of National Health Plan (2017-2021)

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State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi looks at photos displayed at the ceremony.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor, addressed those gathered for the ceremony unveiling the national health plan (2017-2021) held at Myanmar International Convention Center 2 in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
The state counsellor stressed the importance of public health.
“I would like to assert that the good health of the public is the best luck for the country. But the luck I want to say here is not the easily accessible present given by others, but the one acquired through intellect and zeal. With such an idea, the national health plan was drawn up after making decisions as to how it will be implemented year after year, absolutely not one drawn up just by imagining or generalising.
Public health is of great importance for the country. My mother, who was a nurse, used to say that we must be healthy and nothing can be done without good health. She herself encountered as a nurse that many educated or high-ranking or wealthy persons lost their potential when their health deteriorated. My mother stressed great importance on health. Here, I want to say that public health is an invaluable resource for our country, hence the need to make concerted efforts for public health care. The present national health plan is the public orientated plan, so we are required to start from our houses. It is not to get medical treatment only when we arrive at the hospitals. Instead, we must be careful about our health while living in our homes. We generally differentiate between those who need to have medical treatment and those giving medical treatment. In fact, we cannot think like that. Some say that medical doctors do not cure patients, but the latter cure their suffering themselves. Doctors only guide how to do and what to do. That statement is partly right. Doctors are those responsible for health, to educate and instruct. People are required to take responsibilities for their health, themselves. I am convinced that our national health plan has been drawn up, with the intention of reaching the stage of taking responsibility of our health, ourselves.”

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Union Minister Dr Myint Htwe presents the commemorative gift to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The State Counsellor added that it is never too early to become concerned with health care in the home.
“It is of great importance to give health care since the time of being in the mother’s womb. Infants who are healthily-nurtured and well-cared for become more healthy and brilliant when they are grown up. They can be of great help to the country in every way. As regards the health, we get help locally and from abroad. Others will help only if we have potential, likewise, only if we have potential will others have desire to help us. For example, in eradicating the three great diseases [tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria], our country’s progress led to global support for our effort. They are implementing their plans to support us systematically. Only if we can help ourselves, would others like to help us. Matters relating to the health are very broad and plentiful. Our finances are limited. According to our financial condition, the plan has been drawn up to provide the best health care to the public. It was not drawn up depending upon finance. We have drawn up the potential plan. The Minister for Health is eager especially on public orientated health so we can be said to be blessed with this. Accordingly, a good leader needs good followers. All staff of the Ministry of Health and Sports will perform the tasks of developing people’s health under the leadership of the Minister, I firmly believe. The plan is aimed at gaining health that all people can reach. Being the health everybody can do, the rural populace needs to practise it. As known by all, 70 per cent of the whole populace in the country lives in rural areas, not in the urban areas. In the plan, it has been included to prioritise the health of the rural populace.”
The State Counsellor said that the plan was drawn up to upgrade the capacities of the people to the highest level and other ministries needs to help the Ministry of Health to succeed, especially the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. Likewise, the Hluttaw is also of great importance in promulgating laws, rules and regulations on health, she said.
In her concluding remarks, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has called for support of the other ministries and regional and state governments to cooperate with each other, stressing the importance of attracting the people to participate in the plan.
Union Minister for Health and Sports Dr Myint Htwe explained work procedure, vision and objectives of the National Health Plan (2017-2021) before he offered a commemorative gift for the Nation Health Plan (2017-2021) to the State Counsellor.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Pyithu Hluttaw Speaker U Win Myint, Union Ministers and responsible persons then posed for photos and visited the booth displaying documentary photos on community-based health care.
The ultimate goal of the Myanmar National Health Plan (2017-2021) is to be able to provide health care services, which is essentially basic health care for the people, at less expense in any places in 2020-2021 fiscal year. To reach that goal, the National Health Plan was aimed to cooperate harmoniously with health care organisations, private health care services, non-governmental organisations, ethnic health care teams, development allies and health care programmes.

(Unofficial translation)

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