The first-ever summit of Asean medical school deans kicked off in Bangkok yesterday with talks on research collaboration on communicable and non-communicable diseases.
University presidents, deans and deputy deans from 12 top universities in 10 Asean nations were due to propose different issues for discussion to try to find suitable conclusions. Different projects would be initiated in line with conclusions, Clinical Prof Udom Kachintorn, dean of Mahidol’s faculty of Medicine at Siriraj Hospital, the meeting’s host.
Professor Adeeba Binti Kamarulzaman from Malaysia responded to a question about the urgent matters to be discussed in terms of research collaboration, saying the academics would see how they could jointly deal with problems that every country in the region faces – diseases such as flu and diabetes.
Prof Agnes D Mejia from the Philippines said having done community based research on diabetes, HIV prevention, E-coli and diarrhoea; the Philippines would share its findings.
Prof Udom said: “In preparation for the Asean Economic Community in 2015, the medical schools have to discuss how to upgrade curriculum, learning processes, medical services and research together. We have to link our patient care systems to support free flow of patients in Asean.”
The First Asean Deans’ Summit will run until tomorrow, with the theme “Connecting Asean Medical Schools towards One Community”. It aims to promote collaboration among leading medical schools in Asean to leverage medical education and health systems towards international excellence and to be prepared to work as one community by 2015.
They will sign the Asean Medical School’s Intention Declaration tomorrow to establish and reinforce collaboration and a network among their medical schools. They plan to share human resources and provide capacity building for medical education and research and health systems in Asean countries.
Asked about doctor mobility in Asean, Dr Alonkone Phengsavanh from Laos, said: “We should set up new regulations among medical associations of each country, and the first thing is medical licences. [Each] Health Ministry should be aware about this issue. The country should think about a ‘brain drain’.
Udom said he hoped that their collaboration – coming together to look at curricula and (medical) facilities they could share to help each other – would help lift every country’s standards to a similar level.