The APO Session at the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health 2015

The Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (the APO) organized a session at the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health 2015 held in Manila, Philippines from 25-27 August. The APO’s session, which was held on 26 August, reviewed the APO’s activities in the Philippines, presenting the outcomes of its three major publications: (i) Health Systems in Transition (HiT) review, including Living HiT updates, (ii) case study on public hospital governance, and (iii) case study on strategic purchasing. Dale Huntington, Director, APO gave a brief overview of the APO and moderated the session. The session was attended by more than 90 health professionals.

Leizel P Lagrada, Independent Consultant, made a presentation on Health Systems In Transition: The Philippines Health System Review 2011 Philippine Living Hits 2013, 2014. She concluded that improvement of the health systems requires thorough understanding of the comprehensive components of the health system through health systems reviews and studies; and the Kalusugang Pangkalahatan (KP) thrusts should include measures to specifically address persistent defects in the health system building blocks, particularly out-of-pocket expenses and quality of services

Oscar Picazo, Independent Consultant, made a presentation on Hospital Governance Reforms in the Philippines: Four Case Studies. This was drawn from the Philippines chapter of the APO publication Public Hospital Governance in Asia and the Pacific, Vol 1 No.1, 2015. He concluded that achieving better outcomes, such as better fiscal capacity of hospitals, require visionary leadership and maximization of the opportunities available.

Ida Marie Pantig, Supervising Research Specialist, Philippine Institute for Development Studies made a presentation on Buying Smartly on Behalf of Members: A Case Study of PhilHealth as Purchaser of Health Services. This is part of an ongoing collaborative study jointly undertaken by the APO and RESYST (Resilient and Responsive Health Systems) Research Consortium to investigate the purchasing arrangements for health care financing systems in several low and middle-income countries. She concluded that as the Philippines approaches UHC in population coverage it needs to: (i) identify the remaining members who have been subsidized but are not aware of their entitlements; (ii) improve benefits by expanding the PCB+ package and giving members the choice of providers; and (iii) undertake strategic planning exercise on the role of SHI with focus on improvement of collection efficiency and increasing premium, strengthen stewardship and regulatory functions.

The APO also set a publications booth at the Forum to distribute the APO publications