Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – Iran promised to help Indonesia modernize its healthcare with surgical robots during a meeting between the leaders of the two countries in Bogor on Tuesday.
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo hosted a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi at the Bogor Palace to discuss bilateral ties. And health cooperation – particularly telerobotic surgery – became a topic during the discussion.
"On health cooperation, we already have pilot projects for telerobotic surgery and telemedicine. We also have telemedicine equipment cooperation taking place in 11 community health centers," Jokowi told a joint press briefing shortly after the bilateral talks.
"I also spoke of technology transfer and joint production with Indonesian state-owned enterprises [SOEs]. We can also work together on biotechnology and nanotechnology for health, energy, farming, as well as the environment," Jokowi said.
Indonesia and Iran have launched pilot projects for telerobotic surgery – which allows surgeons to perform operations on patients from a distance – at Bandung's Hasan Sadikin Hospital and Yogyakarta's Dr. Sardjito Hospital.
Both countries inked a contract in 2021 to export Iran-made Sina surgical robots. Iran also agreed to establish two advanced telesurgery centers in Bandung and Yogyakarta, according to the Tehran Times.
Raisi's visit saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding on regulations related to pharmaceutical products, cosmetics, and traditional medicine. The two nations signed a preferential trade agreement, which would expand market access for Indonesian exports of pharmaceutical products and processed food, to name a few.