Lao People’s Democratic Republic
P4H Coordination Desk attends high level meeting in Lao PDR
Dec 2012 – The Lao PDR’s Ministry of Health (MoH) invites P4H Coordination Desk representatives to attend a Health Financing Task Force (HFTF) meeting and a High Level Health Financing Leadership Seminar (HLHFLS) on December 7th and 8th, partly to explore opportunities for collaboration with the existing group of development partners active in the area of health financing.
The HFTF meeting focuses on the challenges related to the implementation of the current social health protection schemes (with reference to the draft Health Financing Strategy) and to the finalization of the draft Decree on National Health Insurance. Chaired by the Minister of Health in the afternoon sessions, the meeting is attended by 103 participants, and there are a total of 12 presentations by members of the Task Force and international experts. The presentations cover progress made in relation to policy development, and situation analyses looking at fee exemption for maternal and child health services, the performance of the health insurance schemes, institutional, management, and administrative and budgetary arrangements related to health financing.
This meeting provides a good baseline of the situation in Lao PDR, clear and time-bound targets and a first draft of a national roadmap for Universal Health Coverage (UHC). In line with the approach promoted by the P4H network, several sectors (health, social welfare, finance, justice, etc.) are involved in the UHC process and representatives from each attend the meeting.
The objective of the HLHFLS is to establish a high level advocacy forum on UHC for government officials with the support of development partners in Lao PDR. The meeting is organized to ensure greater commitment and collaboration between government bodies (including the central and provincial governments) in order to achieve UHC by 2025. Demonstrating Lao PDR’s political commitment, the meeting is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and is attended by a total of 152 participants. Presentations are made by speakers from WHO-Western Pacific Regional Office, the Department of Planning and Finance of the MoH and representatives from China, Thailand and Vietnam, providing a wide range of options and lessons learned in the area of UHC for Lao PDR to consider and discuss. The meeting is attended by all P4H partners active in the country (WHO, ILO, WB, France) as well as other development partners involved in health financing in Lao PDR.