In commemoration of International Health Coverage day on December 12th, which was proclaimed by the UN, an event was hosted on December 4th by the Department of Global Health Policy, the University of Tokyo (GHP), and the Institute of Global Health Policy Research (iGHP) National Center for Global Health and Medicine.
With the dramatic changes in the healthcare context, the future direction of UHC for both Japan and the world should be sought to determine the most appropriate methods of addressing various situations.
A presentation containing the below information was made by Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasert, who is the Vice Chair of the International Health Policy Program Foundation, Health Intervention and Technology Assessment, Thailand. Thailand has begun providing a medical security system for those who were not covered by the medical care payment system provided for public employees or the social security system for employees; the new system constitutes an early achievement of UHC (universal health coverage). Today, almost 100% of the nation is covered by one of their three healthcare systems.
A presentation was made containing the below information by Dr. Kun Tang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health at Peking University School of Public Health, China. China has consistently promoted UCH, in accordance with its growth, even though its population is as large as 1.4 billion people.They also aggressively challenged the infrastructure investment and medical development assistance provided to countries supporting the “Belt and Road Initiative.”
A presentation was made containing the below information by Dr. Yoshihiro Takayama, who is a Chief Physician in the Regional health Care Department of Okinawa Prefectural Chubu Hospital, Japan. On the remote island of Okinawa, local medical services are provided in a way that supports the lifestyle of the elderly and involves the local community. Collaboration on the provision of acute medical care and integrated community care will be necessary from now on, especially in rural backwater areas.
The final panel discussion was concluded with the statement that out-of-the-box challenges by diverse stakeholders were expected to “ensure access to health for all”; the nation’s willingness is key in the realization of that goal.