Health in Asia and the Pacific: A Focused Approach to Address the Health Needs of ADB Developing Member Countries

Institutional Document | June 2015

This plan provides a focused approach for addressing the health needs of ADB developing member countries by leveraging loans and grants to achieve Universal Health Coverage through strategic investments in health infrastructure, health sector governance, and health financing.

The Operational Plan for Health (OPH), 2015–2020 provides a wide range of integrated strategies and solutions to assist ADB developing member countries in meeting the United Nations post-2015 goal of expanding public and private health services. It includes provisions for increasing ADB health sector investments in the Asia and Pacific region from 1% to 2% (2014) of our total portfolio to 3% to 5% by 2020.

Following the recommendations from the Midterm Review of ADB Strategy 2020, the OPH offers sustainable solutions built on ADB experience and focusing on 3 ADB strengths:

Health Infrastructure. The plan provides ways to optimize health outcomes and increase health care coverage through infrastructure projects, such as health facilities and hospitals; and shows how to ensure that infrastructure is integrated into health systems, managed and staffed efficiently, and properly operated with sustainable financing. It also indicates ways to enhance health outcomes from non-health sector investments such as water and sanitation and urban development.

Health Governance. The plan shows how health care can be rationalized through good governance and regional public goods by strengthening institutions, planning, financial management, and health information and regulatory systems.

Health Financing. The plan offers methods for expanding health care though innovative financing that promotes allocation and technical efficiency.

Taking a new direction, the OPH features health care strategies that

  • can steer the region toward outcome-driven practices and away from output-based business as usual;
  • support innovative, evidence-based approaches—underpinned by ICT—for building and managing health services;
  • foster investments in integrated and cost-effective programs that expand the supply of public and private health services and offer financing to create health-services demand;
  • promote public–private partnerships that lead to larger lending amounts and reduced transaction costs;
  • cultivate co-financing to develop new business and innovative activities; and
  • mainstream gender to take advantage of the role women play as a health care driver. 

The ADB OPH provides health sector managers and specialists with a framework for promoting operational activities that

  • can improve and expand health care in low- and middle-income countries;
  • offer new and innovative ways to strengthen existing programs and implement new ones; and
  • ensure health care quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

For anyone interested in health care, the ADB OPH offers a concrete plan for achieving improved and sustainable health outcomes that pave the way to universal health care. 


  • Abbreviations
  • Acknowledgments
  • Executive Summary
  • Rationale
  • Directions 
  • Implementation Plan 
  • Monitoring and Reporting 
  • Appendixes

Additional Details

  • ADB administration and governance
  • Health
  • Health system development
  • Health insurance and subsidized health programs
  • TIM157137
  • 978-92-9254-949-7 (Print)
  • 978-92-9254-950-3 (e-ISBN)

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