Date: 26 November 2019
Event: Workshop on policy orientation and planning on health commodity procurement for mitigating medical plastic and harmful wastes

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Ha, Deputy Director General of the Viet Nam Health Environment Management Agency, MOH

Colleagues from Departments of the MOH, MONRE, Health facilities, and Private Companies,

Colleagues from International Development partners.

A very good morning and Xin Chao

I am delighted to welcome you to this important Workshop on “Policy orientation and planning of health commodity procurement to mitigate medical plastic and harmful waste” in Viet Nam. This workshop is organized by UNDP Viet Nam and the Health Environment Management Agency of the Ministry of Health to come up with practical guidelines for implementing green procurement in health facilities and help reduce medical plastic and harmful wastes from health care services.

We all know that the health sector plays a crucial role in ensuring human wellbeing. However, provision of these services, if not planned and managed well, can lead to risks such as exposure to biological or chemical agents, improper waste management, pollution through plastic and non-degradable products, emission of greenhouse gases and so on.

I am pleased to see the enormous efforts of the Government of Viet Nam in coping with these problems by adopting several directives calling for actions in mitigating the harmful waste produced while providing health care services.

From the baseline assessment undertaken by UNDP under its Sustainable Procurement in Health Project or SHiPP in 2018, we know that Viet Nam has relatively strong legislation and policy frameworks on medical hazardous waste management. These include, the law on environment protection with its article 44 “Eco-friendly production and consumption”, the Regulation of Management of Hazardous Waste and sub-law policies on medical hazardous waste management. More importantly, the “National Green Growth Strategy for the period 2011-2020 with a vision to 2050” is considered as a hallmark national policy that promotes sustainable procurement initiatives across all sectors. Most recently, two important action plans were introduced - the Prime Minister’s Directive and the Ministry of Health’s Directive for mitigation of medical plastic waste.  

Ladies and gentlemen,

Over the last decade, UNDP has been supporting Viet Nam in its efforts of mitigation and adaptation with climate change including environment and health. UNDP has engaged with the health sector over the last 10 years through several interventions. A joint UNDP and WHO programme between years 2007-2011 developed considerable policies on waste management within the health care facilities. As part of the MoU signed between UNDP and MOH in March 2018, we stand ready to provide the health sector with technical assistance in developing technical guidelines and criteria for minimizing medical plastic and harmful wastes through sustainable procurement process. The organization of this workshop today is part of this continuing effort.

Distinguish guests,

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is committed to assisting governments in achieving Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through aligning with government priorities, including those concerning improving access to quality healthcare.

We hope that today you will discuss and reflect on ways to green health procurement and come up with a clear guidelines and criteria for implementing the government policies and directives. So, I would encourage you all to take an active part in the discussions and share your ideas.

Wish you all good health, happiness and success.

Thank you.

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