Effectiveness of Universal Health Insurance in Asian Countries | Asian Development Bank

At the forefront of growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

Effectiveness of Universal Health Insurance in Asian Countries

Event | 20 - 22 March 2018 Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Time of event

09:00–18:00

Background

Universal health coverage is generally defined as access, on equal terms, for all citizens to a specific package of the highest-quality health care that a country can afford without any citizens suffering financial hardship as a result. In many countries in Asia, attaining universal health insurance is now an explicit policy objective, showing governments' commitment to improving the health of their citizens. Universal health insurance is also important for fighting poverty in an age of deepening income inequality worldwide.

In the coming decades, many Asian countries will face fiscal and political pressure related to public systems of health care, pensions, and social protections due to a growing elderly population. Already, universal health insurance is under pressure in certain countries due to a rapid increase in life expectancy and a sharp fall in birth rates. Many emerging economies are expected to become aging societies in the next few decades. Governments must, therefore, develop strategies to sustain universal health insurance. They must learn from developed countries facing major issues in their universal health insurance programs.

This workshop will discuss existing social security systems in developed countries struggling with aging populations, lessons learned, and policies needed to improve universal health insurance in developing Asian countries. The workshop will also discuss the lack of involvement from the informal sector and the middle class, known as the “missing middle.” This group is reluctant to participate in universal health insurance because they prioritize other needs and register only when they become sick. It is crucial for policy makers to convince the “missing middle” that the universal health insurance system is valuable not only for society but also for them individually.

With universal health coverage, however, comes major challenges. This workshop will focus on how to ensure effective and sustainable financing of universal health insurance, handle the strain of an aging population on universal health insurance, and increase the awareness of universal health insurance among the missing middle.”

The workshop will run for 3 days and comprise six or seven discussion sessions, interactive lectures, and a field trip to show participants how Indonesia implements its national health insurance.

Objectives

Promote discussion among government officials and experts, share policy insights and countries’ experiences in implementing universal health insurance, and consider the following:

  • How to ensure effective and sustainable financing when implementing universal health insurance
  • How to handle the strain of an aging population on universal health insurance
  • How to increase the awareness of universal health insurance among the “missing middle”
Participants
  • 14 government officials from ministries of finance or other bodies involved in the health care from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam
  • Domestic participants; international experts; representatives from multilateral banks, the private sector, and the academia involved in health insurance development and financing
Output
  • Shared knowledge and enhanced capacity of developing Asian countries for understanding social spending systems, specifically universal health insurance
  • Enhanced dialogue among government officials and experts on key issues in universal health insurance implementation such as the difficulties of maintaining financial sustainability, handling of a growing population of elderly dependents, and the lack of participation from the “missing middle”
  • Case studies of developed countries facing issues of universal health insurance due to an aging population
  • A field trip to show participants how Indonesia implements its national health insurance
  • Presentation materials to be uploaded to the ADBI website
How to register

By invitation only

Partners

Directorate General of Budget, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia