Health Financing Strategy for the Asia Pacific Region (2010–2015)

The Regional Committee,

Noting equity and universal access to quality health services as a guiding principle and goal of primary health care;

Recognizing that the move towards universal coverage is a central objective of health systems that embody the values of primary health care, and that health financing systems in many countries and areas need to be further developed to achieve universal coverage;

Acknowledging that health systems in the Asia Pacific region are complex and diverse, and therefore no single model of health financing is suitable for all countries and areas;

Recognizing the need to reduce the high out-of-pocket payments in the Asia Pacific region, particularly for the poor and other vulnerable groups, since these payments could lead to impoverishment;

Recognizing further the need to invest more in health interventions that can help countries achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals;

Recognizing the importance of equitable and efficient use of both domestic resources and external funds;

Noting that the availability and use of accurate and reliable health financing data and information are essential for effective policy formulation, implementation and monitoring,

1. ENDORSES the Health Financing Strategy for the Asia Pacific Region (2010–2015);[1]

2. URGES Member States:

(1) to consider methods of prepayment of financial contributions for health care so that high out-of-pocket expenditures are reduced;

(2) to endeavour to provide safety nets for health care so that the poor and other vulnerable groups are protected;

(3) to strive to maintain or increase investments and public spending on health, so that effective health interventions can be fully implemented;

(4) to continue to show leadership in aligning domestic and external resources to national priorities, including the objective of universal coverage;

(5) to use where appropriate the Strategy for developing national policies, strategies and actions on health financing that facilitate the transition to universal coverage;

3. REQUESTS the Regional Director:

(1) to provide support and technical advice to Member States in improving health financing policies;

(2) to facilitate the exchange of knowledge, information, experience and evidence of effective health financing arrangements among Member States;

(3) to work with partners, development agencies and other stakeholders in supporting implementation of the Strategy;

(4) to report back to the Regional Committee on the implementation of the Strategy.

Sixth meeting

[1] Annex 1 of document WPR/RC60/6.

24 September 2009

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