Tokyo: High-quality healthcare system is indispensable for healthy and productive population. In this Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) era, Nepal’s recent commitment to universal health coverage (UHC) has provided an opportunity to introduce “quality of the health system” as the national policy agenda.
Moreover, Nepal’s current transition to federalism provides the right time to start dialogue among the stakeholders on this pertinent issue. Although Nepal’s health sector has relied on disease specific vertical models of healthcare for decades, the current need is overall “health system strengthening” ensuring the access to quality healthcare, particularly for disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.
In this regard, Nepal can learn a lot from Japan, which is one of the prominent leaders in global health arena. Keeping these things in mind, Nepalese and Japanese health professionals residing in Japan gathered for a seminar in JICA hall, Ichigaya, Tokyo on February 3, 2019. This was the third seminar of Nepal Japan Dialogue Series supported by the Embassy of Nepal in Tokyo and sponsor by Kyodai Remittance(IME)which has previously included discussions on diverse issues of Nepal such as infrastructure and agriculture.
The theme of the Nepal Japan Dialogue Series III was “Improving healthcare system in Nepal”. It focused on several components of Japanese healthcare system which can be transferred to Nepal, in feasible and sustainable manner. The objective of the discussion was to explore how Nepalese and Japanese counterparts can collaborate to improve the healthcare system in Nepal by focusing on several macro- and micro-level components.
The seminar was conducted in two sessions followed by panel discussion and Q and A with audience after each session. Dr. Prakash Shakya, a medical doctor from Nepal and post-doctoral researcher at Kyorin University moderated the seminar. Starting off the first session, Dr. Shakya talked about the need of health system strengthening to improve the healthcare access in Nepal.
He also emphasized that Nepal can learn a lot on universal health coverage and health technology from Japan. Prof. Yasuo Sakuma, President at University of Tokyo Health Sciences talked about integrating basic science and traditional knowledge in medical education. Mr. Yasuyuki Suzuki, Chief Operation Officer at Medical Data Card Inc. introduced a digital personal health record application where the patients can manage their own medical data.
He also highlighted the importance of patient centered healthcare system. Prof. Hiroyuki Izumi, Director at Itabashi Medical Association hospital talked about the national health insurance system and emergency medical services in Japan. He also emphasized on current challenges of health insurance system in Japan.
In the second session, the speakers focused on micro-level interventions in healthcare system. Dr. Lushun Chalise, assistant professor at The University of Tokyo focused on importance of post-graduate training in medical practices. Dr. Yasuhisa Fujimoto, Director of Breast Center, Suita Tokushukai Hospital talked about breast cancer situation in Nepal and pink ribbon campaign activities to increase the awareness about it. He also highlighted the importance of ultrasonography to detect breast cancer in resource-limited settings of Nepal.
Dr. Tomoyuki Nakanishi, President at T-ICU Co. Ltd talked about the role of telemedicine in critical care and emergency medicine and its possible implementation in developing countries like Nepal. Mr. Ryuichi Onose, Chief Executive Officer at Icaria Inc. introduced a non-invasive technology of detecting cancer by urinary sample. He also showed the prototype of the device which detects the cancer by urinary miRNA extraction.
Mr. Krishna Chandra Aryal, Deputy Chief of Mission at The Embassy of Nepal, Tokyo gave the closing remarks. He underlined the embassy’s commitment to facilitate the transfer of health related technology and interventions from Japan to Nepal.
Around 70 Japanese and Nepalese professionals from different prefectures of Japan attended this seminar.