Activity 1: Assist WHO globally in advocating and facilitating countries on universal health coverage to improve financial protection

Universal health care coverage (UHC) is widely accepted as one of key goals of health system and policy. Many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) of Asia are struggling toward UHC, but they should overcome various barriers in health systems. Korea achieved universal health coverage in a relatively short time period, and the process of achieving UHC can provide valuable lessons (both positive and negative) to LMICs in the WHO Member States.

The collaborating centre works with WHO in providing advocacy and technical support to the Member States in their efforts to achieve UHC with an emphasis on financial protection. The technical areas cover the revenue collection, pooling and purchasing, priority setting, service delivery, pharmaceutical policy, etc. The activities include development of case studies, scoping papers, and policy briefs on health financing, resource allocation and priority setting, pharmaceuticals, hospital reform, and ageing and long-term care; and collaboration on UHC Forum.

Expected deliverables: 

- Technical support to WHO Member States in developing their national health insurance system and health financing policy
- Consultancy reports on key topics of UHC

- Policy briefing and recommendation note responding to the needs of specific LMICs
- Host study visits of policy makers from LMICs

Activity 2: In agreement with WHO, provide training courses for capacity building for policy makers and researchers on health care financing, health policy, health economics, and pharmaceutical policy in the region

The capacity in developing evidence-based policy is critical for sustainable development of health system for UHC. Taking the advantage of faculty in the university, training workshops for multi-countries and individual countries have been organized. The topics cover broader health system and health financing areas, but are tailored to countries’ need. The audience of the training are government officials as well as policy researchers in universities and academic institutions. Apart from training courses, the centre provides hand-on technical support to country team on specific technical topics. The centre also provides support to WHO in developing country capacity in health financing and health systems, including collaboration on the annual WHO Bi-regional Workshop on Health Financing Policy for UHC.  

Expected deliverables: 
- Organize training courses on health financing, health insurance
- Technical support to country teams in policy research in the area of health financing, health policy, health economics, long-term care, and pharmaceutical policy in the region

Activity 3: Work with WHO globally in the generation and dissemination of knowledge and information on universal health coverage and health systems, including health financing, ageing and long-term care, pharmaceuticals, and hospital reforms

Pharmaceuticals and technology are a major component of health system and increasing equitable access to essential medicines and health technologies is a key corner stone of efforts directed at moving toward UHC. Expenditure on medicines often causes catastrophic health expenditure and often accounts for significant portion of overall healthcare costs. National pharmaceutical policy needs to adopt a health system perspective, beyond its emphasis on safety, quality and efficacy issues and link clearly with health system financing policies to achieve most efficient use. Demand for long-term care with population ageing and hospital reforms in LMICs also became important issues that should be addressed in the future.

The centre serves as a platform for experts and policy makers in the region to discuss key policy issues and generate evidence-based policy recommendations for pharmaceuticals with regard to selection, financing and use medicines and health technologies to achieve optimal outcomes with limited resources available to health systems. With WHO, the centre provides support for ‘Access to Medicines Network’, including annual meeting, and works on the generation and dissemination of pharmaceutical policy on medicine pricing and reimbursement. 

Expected deliverables: 
- Series of reports on key policy issues of pharmaceutical policy, technical papers and guideline for pharmaceutical policy
- Participation and support to regional knowledge hub/collaborations that can facilitate sharing of experiences and mutual learning between national policy and decision and contribute to capacity development

Funding sources: 
The Centre works on various projects funded by MoHW (Ministry of Health and Welfare), KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency), KoFIH (Korea Foundation for International Health), NHIS (National Health Insurance Service), HIRA (Health Insurance Review and Assessment) in addition to international organizations.