Takeshi Kasai, new regional director of the World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Office (WHO WPRO), showed a keen interest in Korea’s Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service’s medical review programs.
WHO WPRO is leading a project to achieve universal health coverage in East Asia and Southeast Asia.
|Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service President Kim Seung-taek (left) shakes hands with Takeshi Kasai, regional director of the World Health Organization Western Pacific Regional Office, at HIRA’s head office in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on Tuesday. (Credit: HIRA)|
Visiting HIRA’s head office in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on Tuesday, Kasai paid particular attention to the agency’s role including prevention of antibiotics misuse and abuse and support for the Big Data-using medical information industry.
Kasai said it was his first visit to a Korean agency for public health.
“I was impressed by Korea’s quick response to the recall of valsartan-containing hypertension drugs using the excellent ICT-based HIRA system last year,” he said. “We hope that HIRA can expand cooperation with WHO to improve health systems in the region, based on its experiences and know-how.”
Since taking office in January, Kasai has been pushing to improve each member country’s healthcare system. He contributed to revising the National Health Insurance Law in Vietnam.
HIRA said Kasai’s visit signaled that the agency has solidified its status as a leader of health insurance review in the Western Pacific region. “The visit will boost our program for consultations on public health policies for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members, too,” HIRA said.
Continuing from last year, HIRA plans to provide policy consultations for public health agencies in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia this year.