SEA/RC65/15 - Progress reports on selected Regional Committee resolutions: Regional Strategy for Universal Health Coverage (SEA/RC63/R5)
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AbstractCountries in the South-East Asia (SEA) Region are prioritizing universal health coverage (UHC) in their health and development policies with an urgent emphasis on improving equity. A key driver of inequities in health and a major challenge to UHC in the SEA Region is out-of-pocket payments (OOP) particularly for the purchase of medicines. Further inequities as well as inefficiencies are evident in service delivery in the context of an increasing burden of noncommunicable diseases and largely unregulated private provision of curative care. Based on an in-depth analysis and discussion of SEA Region and international experiences, the following are the four strategic directions recommended to accelerate UHC in the Region: Strategic direction 1: Placing primary health care at the centre of UHC. The principles of primary health care remain very relevant for a working definition of universal health coverage: priority to the health needs of the poor and public health, using appropriate technology and through health systems anchored at the community level. Strategic direction 2: Improving equity through social protection. Shifting away from out-of-pocket spending to mandatory pre-payment mechanisms that support sustainable pooling for social protection. Strategic direction 3: Improving efficiency in service delivery. Prioritizing the health needs of the poor and public health services in the benefit package is important at each stage of progress towards UHC. Service delivery needs to be strengthened accordingly, including effective engagement of the private sector and appropriate decentralization and regulation. Strategic direction 4: Strengthening capacities for UHC in the SEA Region. Strengthening country capacities and institutions for evidence-based advocacy; development of policy, strategies and plans; and monitoring and evaluation. The High-Level Preparatory (HLP) Meeting held in the Regional Office in New Delhi from 2 to 5 July 2012 reviewed the working paper and made the following recommendations: Actions by Member States (1) To recommend that the Sixty-fifth session of the Regional Committee endorse the Regional Strategy for Universal Health Coverage. (2) To develop country-specific workplans for UHC. Actions by WHO- SEARO (1) To develop Strategic Direction 4 on capacity building in detail; to provide technical support for developing country-specific workplans; and to support activities at Regional level e.g. a platform for exchange of experiences, and monitoring and evaluation at Regional level. (2) To convene a biennial meeting for SEA Region countries to meet and discuss UHC achievement and challenges. The working paper and the HLP recommendations are submitted to the Sixty-fifth Session of the Regional Committee for its consideration. The Committee is requested to endorse the Regional Strategy for Universal Health Coverage.
World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2012). SEA/RC65/15 - Progress reports on selected Regional Committee resolutions: Regional Strategy for Universal Health Coverage (SEA/RC63/R5). WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/128314
Gov't Doc #SEA/RC65/15
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