The fourth ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Healthcare Working Group (HWG) Meeting in 2021 was chaired by Dr. Khor Swee Kheng and attended by the members and staffers of ASEAN-BAC and Joint Business Councils (JBCs).
The objective of the meeting was to update the group on the 7th ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group on Public Health Emergencies (ACCWG PHE) Meeting that was held on 27 September 2021, and the preparation for future regular interactions with the ACCWG PHE.
The third ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Healthcare Working Group (HWG) meeting of the year was chaired by Dr Khor Swee Kheng and attended by ASEAN-BAC and Joint Business Councils (JBCs) members and staffers.
The meeting sought to gather input from the members present on the ASEAN-BAC HWG statement for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting to be held on 8 September 2021 which will focus on health-related policy recommendations and initiatives from ASEAN’s private sector.
The second ASEAN-BAC Healthcare Working Group (HWG) Meeting 2021 (chaired by Dr. Khor Swee Kheng) was attended by members from ASEAN-BAC and Joint Business Councils (JBCs). The meeting’s discussion revolves around a roadmap for the HWG in 2021 and activities leading up to the ASEAN Summit in October 2021.
Discussion points included the feasibility of a regional travel bubble utilising technology, vaccine certificates, and antibody passports. The group agreed that platforms used to these ends should be interoperable and tied to existing public health measures such as contact tracing and appropriate movement tracking.
Dr. Khor emphasised that while a vaccine passport was necessary in facilitating a cross-border travel bubble, it would not be sufficient as national authorities may also want to see some kind of antibody passport.
The first ASEAN-BAC Healthcare Working Group (HWG) Meeting of the year was held on 7 May 2021, chaired by ABAC-Malaysia HWG Chairman Dr Khor Swee Kheng and attended by ASEAN-BAC and Joint Business Councils (JBCs) members.
The meeting discussed the three priorities for ASEAN-BAC HWG in 2021, as outlined by ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Munir Majid:
- Creating a Regional Travel Bubble with an antibody/vaccination passport and regional contact tracing infrastructure
- Implementing the Medical Device Directive 2015
- Establishing a pooled procurement mechanism for vaccines within ASEAN
YB Rozaimeriyanty Abd. Rahman, Chair of ASEAN-BAC 2021, expressed her strong support for the priorities discussed and emphasized the importance of reinvigorating the ASEAN-BAC HWG to help ensure inclusivity in the healthcare sector as we pursue ASEAN’s economic recovery.