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The WHOCC for Health System and Financing (Director: Prof. Soonman Kwon) and Graduate School of Public Health, Seoul National University lead discussions on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This time, focusing on Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. The initiative was made possible with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), ExIm Bank of Korea, and the Knowledge-Sharing Program (KSP) of Korea’s Ministry of Finance. 


The KSP-ADB-SNU conference on UHC focused on three themes. The first was chaired by Prof. Tae Jin-Lee (SNU) with discussions focusing on Key Issues in UHC. This was followed by the session on UHC in Asia and the Pacific chaired by Prof. Juhwan Oh (SNU) and lastly, on pursing UHC chaired by Eduardo Banzon (Senior Health Specialist, ADB). Prof. Soonman Kwon (SNU) opened the session with the key issues in UHC of Korea. This was followed by presentations on Governance of Health System by Prof. Myoungsoon You (SNU), Health System Response to Population Aging by Prof. Hongsoo Kim (SNU) and ABD, UHC and Inclusive growth in Asia and the Pacific by Dr. Eduardo Banzon.


On the second and last sessions, country progress and challenges in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines was delivered by Van Min Hoang (Hanoi School of Public Health), Prastuti Soewondo (University of Indonesia), and Ruben Basa (Philhealth). Other presentations were delivered by Sungsup Ra of ADB (UHC in South Asia) and Kunkee Park of the WHO (UHC in the Pacific Island Countries). Further on the last session on the pursing UHC, Caryn Brendenkamp of the World Bank discussed the emerging challenges of UHC. This was followed by discussions on UHC in the Middle East and North Africa (Awad Mataria from WHO), Egypt (Magdy Bakr, WHO Egypt), Ethiopia (Asuza Sato, ADB) and Chile (Beverly Ho, ADB).


Prof. Soonman Kwon, after all the sessions summarized the key lessons from the discussions in three points: First, is the recognition that different countries face difference challenges – but there some similarities (e.g., problems in the informal sector in Viet Nam, Indonesia, and the Philippines). Secondly, is that in Public-Private Partnership in Health, the meaning of “Partnership” should be clear from the start as this is important in maintaining healthy collaboration in a health system. Lastly, the recognition of issues in NCD, Aging and Governance. Health systems should be able to build resilience to this threats to ensure financial sustainability and achieve (maintain) health for all.



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