APEC Health Ministers reiterate their commitment

Seattle, Aug. 7 (BNA): Health Ministers from APEC member economies are strengthening primary health care for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, and seeking to increase investments in public health.


Convening in Seattle against the backdrop of increased threats to people’s wellbeing and the economy at large, Ministers reiterated their commitment to reinforce the region’s health systems to better prepare and respond to future pandemics and health emergencies through sustainable health financing and innovative digital health, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.


The APEC Healthcare Financing Roadmap reported that average government spending on health in the APEC region has remained below 5 percent in the last two decades, increasing only slightly from 2.8 percent of GDP in 2000 to 4 percent of GDP in 2017.


Out-of-pocket spending on healthcare has almost doubled between 2003 and 2016, reaching around USD 400 per capita. Almost one in five people in the APEC region are at risk of falling into extreme poverty as their healthcare burdens increase.


Recognizing that governments have competing priorities and limited budgets, ministers looked at how public and private sector funds could be leveraged together and considered measures to increase the role of the private sector.


They also explored the use of innovative and alternative financing models to deepen the level of coverage provided in APEC economies.


Secretary Becerra called for more cooperation in exploring the opportunities for digital health, expanding immunization programs, treating mental health, and advancing regulatory harmonization.


Source: https://www.bna.bh/en/APECHealthMinistersreiteratetheircommitment.aspx?cms=q8FmFJgiscL2fwIzON1%2bDsmZN1lGKlcLJKhY4%2fxtm7U%3d


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