The Challenge of Universal Health Coverage – Asia Regional Flagship Course on Health System Strengthening and Sustainable Financing | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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(c) World Bank

The Asia Network on Capacity Building for Health System Strengthening (ANHSS), the World Bank Institute (WBI), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Health Finance and Governance Project are pleased to announce that a Flagship Course for the Asia Regions on “The Challenge of Universal Health Coverage – Health System Strengthening and Sustainable Financing” will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from March 3-7th, 2014.

The course is targeted to country teams of mid-level and high-level health and finance policy-makers with their development partners and other key stakeholders. This version of the WBI Global Flagship course prioritizes issues relevant to countries in the Asia region. It will be taught and facilitated by faculty from the ANHSS, Oxford and Harvard Universities, the World Bank Institute, and experts and experienced practitioners from Asia. Participation will be by arrangement with USAID and the World Bank.

Many countries and agencies are strongly committed to the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in health. This five-day course applies the Flagship analytic framework to enable structured and strategic thinking about how to move health systems towards Universal Health Coverage.

Policy-makers from ministries of Health, Finance and Social Security/Insurance and their development partners will engage in systematic analysis of the challenges, opportunities and potential risks associated with using different policy levers to move health systems towards Universal Health Coverage. The course approach and purpose is not advocacy but analysis. During five days of intensive interaction with peers and faculty, participants apply tools and concepts to assess where their health systems are relative to their coverage goals, the determinants of progress and health system performance, and feasible policy options.

The course premise is that Universal Health Coverage is not an end in itself, but a means—a means to better health, financial protection, and user satisfaction.  Moreover, there are many possible paths towards Universal Health Coverage. A country’s starting point – defined by its existing patterns of financing, service delivery and financial protection mechanisms, as well as each country’s economic, political and social situation – determines which directions are feasible.

Participants will consider the extent to which different population groups have access to the health services they need, and their level of financial protection when using those services. The course will emphasize that what really matters is not coverage “in principle” or “on paper” but the actual, effective availability of health services, taking into account the costs to users and payers, and service quality/effectiveness.  Affordability is always a concern and a constraint. New policies and programs aimed at achieving Universal Health Coverage may generate future entitlements and expectations that can easily overwhelm systems. This makes it essential to ensure that new entitlements are matched by expansions of services – whether provided by the private or non-profit or public sectors. Prevention and health promotion are vital – the healthier the population, the more feasible and affordable is UHC.

The Flagship framework takes participants beyond the design of health systems and their financing to also consider important ethical and political issues, and the different interests of the main groups and stakeholders affected by health policies (e.g., health care providers, patient groups, international pharmaceutical companies, private sector entrepreneurs, etc.).  Most importantly, the Flagship approach focuses attention on implementation issues, such as organization and management, regulation, the design of payment systems, incentives and mechanisms for behavioral change, and the capabilities that are needed for successful implementation of different policy options.

The course methodology uses case studies specifically related to Universal Health Coverage. Group work sessions give participants the opportunity to apply the course concepts and content to the specific situation in their own countries, and to interact with and draw on the experiences of other participants/countries. Participants will gain a clearer sense of the options, opportunities, constraints and priorities in considering the next major steps towards UHC in their country.

Topics/themes that will be discussed/analyzed during the course include: 

  • What Universal Health Coverage involves and its relationship with ultimate outcomes
  • Different strategies for promoting Universal Health Coverage
  • The Flagship framework – enhanced to include the health system “building blocks”
  • Ethics and the political economy of Universal Health Coverage
  • Intermediate outcomes: quality, efficiency and access
  • Financing options for Universal Health Coverage
  • Paying and reimbursing providers
  • Expanding coverage and the design of benefit packages
  • Setting priorities and controlling expenses
  • The importance of health promotion and prevention in making UHC feasible
  • Improving performance in the public sector to expand coverage
  • Engaging the private sector in helping achieve Universal Health Coverage
  • Leadership for implementing change

Preference will be given to country teams of 5-10 people, comprising policy-makers from health and finance, development partners and other key stakeholders. Thanks to generous financial support from USAID, there will be no course fee, but participants – or their sponsors – will need to cover travel, accommodation, some meals and incidental costs. USAID and World Bank staff will discuss with their government counterparts whether the country would like to participate. Details on logistics will be provided to invited participants.

Comments (25)

Universal Health coverage Course for Africa

Do you have a similar flagship course for Africa? Kindly organize one if there is none and please put me on your mailing list for the course

Thank you

Participation in Flagship Course March'14

Dear course organizers,
I am a postgraduate student (Ph.D student in Computer science) at the Computer science department Mechanics and Mathematics faculty, al-Farabi Kazakh National university.

Presently, I am working on my PhD research based on Fuzzy logic model for Healthcare applied tasks.

Please I'd really like to attend this course on Health System Strengthening. Not only will it build my knowledge and skills, but it will enable me design a good fuzzy model for healthcare tasks which could be used in future for Healthcare systems.

Could you please send me more details to my email?

Thanks a lot, will wait your response.

Kind regards,

Akmaral Kuatbayeva

Hi, I am from bangladesh,


I am from bangladesh, graduate student of Nutrition and Food Science.I am very much interested to attend the course.

Please include me and send me further details how can i attend this course.



Application procedures

I will love to attend as a development expert in health System strengthening programs. I see this course as a very relevant inclusion in for example, the war against malaria in Africa due to issues that relate to universal coverage of treated bednets. What is the application procedures please?

Warm regards,

Gbenga Jokodola, R.Ph.
MBB/BNA/M&E Consultant,
UNICEF, Nigeria.

Request to accept my participation in this very relevant course

Dear Sir/Madam
I am public health professional of Nepal. Since April 2008, I have been working in BNMT at local executive post - National Project Coordinator. Ay present I have been overseeing EU funded project - Human Resource for Health (HRH) through which I have been sesitizsing and capacity enhancing micro, meso and Macro level health system of Nepal in partnership with HRH Division of MoHP, Government of Nepal.
I hope this training course will be instrumental for me to broaden my professional and personal competencies of designing, executing, and monitoring.evaluating the programs of health and well being of people living in developing countries.
Mahendra Shah
Lazimapt, Kathmandu, Nepal
+977 1 4436434 (office)
+977 9841974395

Want to attend this course

Dear Sir/Madam,
I am working as Executive Director with PEACE FOUNDATION PAKISTAN.Our organization is major area of work to work those vulnerable people in Pakistan who are living with HIV/AIDS.we are providing treatment,counselling and rehabilitation service those people are living with HIV/AIDS in Pakistan.I am interested to attend like this valuable course.Please add my name in this course and share details.

Best Regards,
Cell No.00923004207552

Course participation Information

Dear course organizers,

I am a graduate student in the School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan-Canada. Presently, I am working to develop pilot health insurance package for a rural local government in Southern Nigeria.

Please I'd really like to attend this course on Universal Health Insurance. Not only will it build my knowledge and skills, but it will enable me design a good program for this pilot project. Can you send me more details?

Dr. Kelechi Eguzo

Participation in Flagship Course March 14

Dear course organizers,

Greetings from School of Public Health, University of Saskatchewan-Canada. I am a graduate student in this university and this course really resonates with my interest in health systems strengthening and financing.

Please can you send me details on course participation. Also I'd like to know if there are some financial support for graduate students who may face funding challenges in attending this course.

Dr. Kelechi Eguzo

Expression of Intetest to participate the course

Dear sir or madam
I am working in a private financial institution.AM I eligible to attend? If yes, i woild be grateful if you could possibly provide information regarding registration procedure.
very kind regards.
Alamgir Hossain

The NSSC of Indonesia would like to participate in the training

The National Social Security Council (DJSN) have developed the Health National Roadmap, which describes the activities that need to be undertaken for the preparation of the transformation of BPJS Health in 2014.In line with its mandate, DJSN facilitated the synchronization of its Roadmap with those developed by other key stakeholders in order to ensure that a systematic, comprehensive and integrated work plan was created to achieve universal health coverage and the successful transformation of the BPJS Health. Continued coordination and synchronization are the two challenges that the stakeholders face in the process of implementation of the Roadmap in order to increase efficiency and promote a shared vision.

Indonesia has endorsed the implementation of National Health Insurance -namely Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional- in 1st January 2014. The NHI is managed by the National Social Security Carrier - BPJS Health - that will provide medical services for the entire population through a single-payer system, which promotes equity and improves control of healthcare expenditures.

NSSC is very important institution in the overall work towards UHC in Indonesia. Therefore, the possibility to increase the capacity through this flagship course will be beneficial for its institution.

We support the NSSC to plays a central role in steering the implementation of social security reforms through capacity development for the Council and its secretariat, and the establishment, as well as improvement of the coordination mechanism between the Council and relevant stakeholders. GIZ has provided support for NSSC since 2009 through technical and advisory services, which apply relevant international experience to the country context.

We will facilitate them to join to the flagship course and we are looking forward to hear from you for further step to be taken. If you could share with us the estimation cost for the participant, we really appreciate it.

Thank you in advance for your response.

Cut Sri Rozanna
Senior Advisor
Social Protection Programme

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
Wisma Bakrie 2, 6th Floor
Jl. H. R. Rasuna Said Kav. B2
Jakarta 12920

T +62 21 579 421 34/5 ext. 104
F +62 21 579 421 34/5 ext. 110
M +62 811 910 3391

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