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Global Health and Human Security

Dissemination Seminar in Asia—Global Action for Health System Strengthening
G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Follow-Up
January 27, 2009

Task Force members discuss the challenges to health
systems strengthening (credit: JCIE/PMAC)

On January 27, 2009, JCIE organized a followup seminar for the Global Action for Health System Strengthening report in Bangkok, Thailand, less than two weeks after the task force’s report was submitted to the Japanese and Italian governments. The seminar was organized on the occasion of the Prince Mahidol Award Conference and brought together more than 80 participants from institutions in 28 countries. Members of the task force presented the key findings of the report, followed by presentations by a broad range of experts in global health from around the world. 


The discussion at the seminar dealt with all three of the building blocks discussed in the report—health workforce, health financing, and health information. Participants argued that the health workforce should go beyond medical practitioners to also include technicians and policymakers and that the G8 countries and other donors should have confidence that developing countries can improve their health workforces while they work at all levels to help address the major challenges countries face, such as deployment, retention, non-cash incentives, and corruption. They advocated prioritizing the most vulnerable groups when addressing challenges of health financing, particularly given the current global economic crisis and the compounding effect it is having on people’s health. Participants agreed with the report’s assessment that public financing should be the main source of funding for health systems, but they argued that an appropriate mix of public and private financing should be sought and that the G8 should provide practical advice to partner countries on how to achieve the right mix. Participants agreed that surveillance systems within countries need to be strengthened with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes, particularly for the most vulnerable groups in society.


Moving forward, participants suggested looking at how the G8 can support other building blocks of health systems and to broaden the discussion on global health by looking at other social determinants of health system performance. They also argued that more concrete strategies need to be proposed, based on an analysis of best practices and other lessons learned from practical experience. Participants also recommended that the G8 work more closely with other multilateral organizations as well as domestic and international NGOs in order to increase their efficiency and reduce the workload for partner countries receiving funding from multiple sources. Finally, they suggested that the G8 could offer advice to partner countries, possibly through an online information board, for preventing disasters and mitigating their effects.

 

Full Summary of Bangkok Seminar Discussions

Seminar Agenda & Presentation Files

Opening Remarks:

Tadashi Yamamoto, President, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE)

Session 1: Presentations from the Task Force on Global Action for Health System Strengthening

Moderator: Suwit Wibulpolprasert, Senior Advisor on Health Economics, Ministry of Public Health

Presentations:

Comments:

Questions and Answers

Session 2: Toward the Next G8 Summit and Beyond

Moderators: Lincoln Chen, President, China Medical Board of New York
Keizo Takemi

Panelists:

Comments from the floor

Responses

Conclusion