Improving health is an important contributor to increase productivity and economic growth, as well as to achieve sustainable growth with equity. We recognize the importance of providing quality health care through systems that are sustainable and responsive to the health care needs of our people to ensure the continued prosperity of the Asia Pacific region.
We welcome the work undertaken by APEC fora this year to develop sustainable healthcare systems in the region through inclusive access to universal health coverage. The sustainability of universal health coverage is a key priority for economies in the APEC region.
We also recognize that a collaborative, whole of government approach to establishing health priorities and health resource allocation is desirable to improve health and health innovation outcomes. There is benefit in sharing information and best practices in these areas through cross-fora APEC collaboration.
To advance APEC’s work on developing sustainable healthcare systems in the Asia-Pacific, we note the views of the 3rd High level Meeting on Health and the Economy and encourage officials to conduct activities consistent with the circumstances in the individual APEC economies, including but not limited, to:
- form a consultative mechanism of relevant APEC groups and stakeholders, including SOM, SFOM, LSIF and HWG, to prepare for a high level discussion on ways to ensure sustainability of health financing systems in cooperation, where appropriate and necessary, with relevant international organizations such as OECD and WHO;
- undertake a study on health care budget setting, allocation processes and technology assessment, and financing mechanisms in the region;
- acknowledge the need to address including through public-private partnerships the significant burden of mental illness, the changing demands on health systems as populations age and lifestyles change, and the continued rise in chronic non-communicable disease in the face of growing infectious disease threats;
- support ways that APEC can contribute to building innovative capacity in medical life sciences, for example in regulatory sciences and the commercialization of research;
- undertake further work to secure the pharmaceutical and medical products pipeline including by supporting initiatives to improve, safe access to legitimate pharmaceuticals and medical products;
- welcome the Medan Principles and APEC Policy Tool Kit for building capacity of health systems to address healthcare-associated infections and anti-microbial resistance;
- Recognizing that Traditional and Complementary Alternative Medicine (TCAM) has the potential to strengthen primary health care and complementary modalities for handling degenerative diseases, the economies call for (i) developing the knowledge and practice of safe and effective traditional medicine through research and development as well as structured education and training, (ii) integrating safe and effective traditional medicine into national health care systems as appropriate by taking into consideration economies’ capacities, priorities, legislation and circumstances, (iii) involving communities and strengthening public-private partnership in promoting the socio-economic value of safe and effective TCAM;
- welcome emerging initiatives to strengthen the competencies of the health workforce and its distribution in the region and to reaffirm primary healthcare.