SOFIA, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) — The 4th CEEC-China Health Ministers’ Meeting was held here on Wednesday, during which China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) pledged to strengthen health cooperation so as to achieve sustainable development and build a closer community.
Under the theme “Sustainable Development of the Health Systems”, the meeting was attended by some 130 representatives from China and CEE countries, as well as those of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South East European Health Network.
Co-sponsored by China’s National Health Commission and Bulgaria’s Ministry of Health, the meeting was another milestone event in the health cooperation between China and CEEC, the National Health Commission said in a statement.
Ma Xiaowei, head of China’s National Health Commission, told the opening ceremony that public health, sustainable development of the health system and innovations of the health sector are of common interest and one of the top priorities for cooperation among many countries.
Health cooperation between China and CEE countries has made much progress based on consensus and pragmatism, Ma said.
The Chinese official shared three proposals for future cooperation. First, both sides could strengthen cooperation in health strategies, policies and joint projects, work together to promote universal health coverage.
Secondly, China and CEE countries could continue expanding institutional cooperation based on existing mechanisms and networks, he said.
Thirdly, both sides could continue creating new momentum for cooperation based on people-to-people exchange, Ma added.
Kiril Ananiev, Bulgaria’s Health Minister, said in turn that the event is a forum for sharing experiences, ideas and mutually beneficial cooperation.
“Bulgaria highly appreciates the international cooperation in healthcare and believes that placing health topics on the international agenda is a prerequisite for achieving high results at the global level,” Ananiev said.
Hans Kluge, the newly elected WHO Regional Director for Europe said “At a time when the world faces many new and recurring threats, our aim is to show how collective international public health action can build a safer future for humanity.”
A declaration was adopted at the meeting. China also signed a raft of bilateral health cooperation agreements with CEE countries including Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania.