WPRO - Universal Health Coverage

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World Health Organization 66th Session of the Regional Committee for Western Pacific October 12th – October 16th 2015 | Tamuning, Guam, USA

Statement of International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations on Agenda Item 11: Universal Health Coverage Distinguished health representatives from the member states, ladies and gentlemen, The International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) appreciates the steps taken towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In particular, we acknowledge the work done by the member states and the World Health Organization (WHO) in terms of health financing policy and health sector reforms. We also commend the emphasis on evidence gathering and data generation, from the institutionalization of health accounts to the regional reviews on issues such as health workforce regulation and the efficiency and sustainability of public health programmes. Having considered the recently approved Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which highlighted the importance of ensuring UHC, and included a call for a data revolution to allow stronger monitoring and evaluation in all levels of development, aid decision making and ensure accountability; Accepting that regardless of the methods of health system financing or the payment options for the providers, sustainable resource allocation and management of human resources will be instrumental towards achieving universal coverage; Noting that the benefits of investing in health are immediate and obvious, both from a humanitarian perspective and an economical one – every $1 spent generates up to $30 through improved health and increased productivity; Considering that research into health services and systems gets little support, receiving as little as 0.4% of all research funds even in developed countries, while around half of the 100 billion dollars the world spends on health research is concentrated in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; Recognizing the importance of strong political commitment and cooperation between the ministry of health, the ministry of finance and other relevant ministries, We urge the member states:  To recognize that the transition to UHC along with safeguarding the quality of current services to meet the needs of the population is essential to attaining the targets set out in the SDG;  To emphasize the importance of health policy and systems research in policy making, and consider the benefits of having health researchers in closer collaboration with decision makers to allow efficient translation of proven interventions into widespread implementation;  To review, where appropriate, the allocation of health resources, provider payment methods, and other aspects of health system financing to improve equity of access to healthcare for the most needy and vulnerable. The IFMSA also calls on the following sectors to contribute to achieving UHC:  The global academic community to continue enhancing the quality and quantity of research on UHC and health systems strengthening in order to provide updated, evidence-based recommendations;  Medical schools and other educational institutions to integrate health systems knowledge in their curriculum to produce doctors with the capacity to work in universal health care systems.


IFMSA commends the positive progress already made towards achieving UHC, and the solidarity of the member states and the WHO in the process. IFMSA also commits to working with its members to ensure the implementation of UHC in the Western Pacific Region. If we collectively commit to striving for and being accountable to the SDG, then achieving UHC will happen.

Contact Farhan Mari Isa IFMSA Regional Director for Asia Pacific rdasiapacific@ifmsa.org | www.ifmsa.org

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