On Saturday 16 July, during his visit to Mongolia where he attended the 11th ASEM Summit meeting in Ulat Bator, Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, visited two hospitals with which Luxembourg has established links via its overseas development aid programme.
Bilateral cooperation between Luxembourg and Mongolia was established 15 years ago; from the beginning, it focused on the healthcare and telemedicine.
The “Cardiovascular Centre, maternal and child health and expansion of telemedicine” project began as a modest development project to establish a network of cardiologists and has developed into a national programme and an international benchmark for telemedicine and building medical capabilities. Between 2001 and 2016, the project budget amounted to €13.9 million, of which €2.5 million was funded by Mongolia. The goal of the project is to strengthen medical skills in Mongolia, both at central and provincial levels, and establish a telemedicine network, initially for cardiovascular disease, also maternal and child health.
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel, and the Mongolian Minister of Health and Sports, Sambuu Lambaa, visited the Shastin hospital in Ulan Bator, specialised in the field of cardiology, and is the centre of the telemedicine network in Mongolia.
The telemedicine network enhances the exchange and collaboration between physicians throughout the provinces and allows them to participate in specific training programmes run by the Central Hospital of Shastin. Through this project, the rate of cardiovascular mortality decreased by 23% between 2003 and 2015, and 21 provincial hospitals have been connected by the telemedicine network via the Shastin central hospital.
“This project illustrates the potential of new technologies for improving public health and quality of life,” explained the Prime Minister. “Thanks to the expertise acquired through this project, Luxembourg has been able to develop the use of new technologies in many development cooperation projects in other countries.”
Then the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health and Sports visited the National Mother-Child Health Centre in Ulan Bator, which has maintained the Mother-Child telemedicine network in Mongolia since 2012, when telemedicine has been extended to maternal and child health components. Since the commissioning of this programme in Mongolia, the maternal mortality rate fell from 58.6 to 23 per 100,000 births between 2012 and 2015.
“While the results of this project are very satisfactory, we still need to redouble our efforts and work together to further improve the lives of children and their mothers in Mongolia,” said the Prime Minister.