The countries of the Asia-Pacific region have agreed to increase investments in the healthcare sector. The decision was made after a meeting of APEC countries in St. Petersburg. Country representatives cited the negative effects of noninfectious diseases on economic growth as a partial motivation for the increased investment, along with the recognition of healthcare as a growth industry that could contribute to the sustainable development of the region.
Russia has suggested improving healthcare as a focus of its APEC presidency year. One topic under discussion is the improvement of healthcare through all stages of life – from the prenatal period to end-of-life care. Experts suggest that the availability of professional medical services to future parents and children during the first 1,000 days of their life will decrease the risk of noninfectious diseases in subsequent stages of life.
The APEC statement urges the ministers of finance of APEC countries to plan their budget in a way that will lead to the improvement of health of the population, that then in itself becomes a new source of economic growth and development.
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