Minister Räty to Singapore
Minister of Social Affairs and Health Laura Räty will travel to Singapore on 9-11 February to attend a ministerial meeting in the field of health. The theme of the meeting is health care coverage and equal and reasonably priced access to health care. The Team Finland part of the trip will also promote Finnish exports in the health and care sector, as a group of companies specialised in ageing and health technology is accompanying the minister.
Finland and Singapore share many common challenges, such as population ageing. Of the Finnish population, already every fifth has reached the age of 63. In Singapore, on the other hand, 20 per cent of the population will reach the age of 65 in 2030. Therefore, the need for new innovations utilising health technology in care services for older people is great, especially as it is desirable to support the ability of elderly people to live at home as long as possible.
The aim of the Team Finland part of the trip is to familiarize Singaporeans with Finnish expertise in the health and care sector. A diverse group of companies represents Finnish top expertise in that sector. Finland has been profiled as a country with high-level health technology where health care is of good quality and efficient, but when compared with Sweden and Germany, our competitor countries, a lot can still be done to improve our exports promotion.
"In international markets, Finland is one of the players among many others. We must function as a team to be able to attract investments to Finland and, similarly, to get more trade abroad for Finnish companies", Minister Räty emphasises.
During the trip, Minister Räty will meet also Singapore's Health Minister Gan Kim Yong and Senior Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Education & Ministry of Manpower Hawazi Daipi. The subjects of the one-on-one meetings include challenges related to population ageing. The discussions also consider the International Labour Organization's (ILO) new programme, the aim of which is to help developing countries to improve working conditions as well as reduce accident risks and occupational diseases. Finland will participate in the programme as a founding member.
In the meeting, Minister Räty also will take part in a panel discussion about home care for the elderly. For achieving equal, comprehensive and reasonably priced health care, Finland emphasises the role of services and prevention.
"In Finland, we want to support healthy ageing with high-quality and timely services. Also development of technology has an important part to play in supporting independent lives. Apart from being a humane and valuable alternative, enabling elderly people to live at home for as long as possible is also a saving for society", Minister Räty says.
Ministerial Counsellor for International Affairs Merja Mustonen, tel. +358 2951 63116