The Ministry of Health launches the Universal Health Coverage Partnership Programme with European Union-Government of Luxembourg and World Health Organization

Representatives from the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, European Union and the Government of Luxembourg attended the official Launch and signing ceremony for the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Partnership Programme; also known as the “Partnership” at the Don Chan Palace Hotel on 19th November.

Dr Juliet Fleischl (left) WHO Representative to Lao PDR sharing a light moment with the Minister of Health, Prof. Dr Eksavang Vongvichit
Photo credit: Copyright WHO/Micka Perier 2015

Prof. Dr Eksavang Vongvichit, Minister to the Ministry of Health inked the official document to mark the MOH partnership with EU-LUX-WHO. He thanked the development partners for their continued support; as Lao People Democratic Republic becomes the 20th country to benefit from the Partnership and the 6th country to be funded by the Government of Luxembourg.

Dr Fleischl and Dr Eksavang exchanging handshakes after the signing ceremony

Dr Juliet Fleischl, WHO Representative to Lao PDR, explained that “For UHC to work well, it has to be supported by a strong, efficient, well-run health system; a system for financing health services; provide access to essential medicines and technologies; and a sufficient capacity of well-trained, motivated health workers. Universal Health Coverage is the hallmark of a government’s commitment to improve the wellbeing of all its citizens.”

The event was also attended by Ms Natacha Gomes, Officer in Charge of Health and Multilateral Cooperation in Luxembourg among others.

From left, Dr Fleischl, Dr Eksavang and Ms Gomes

This Partnership program is expected to continue into the next five years with the overall objective to improve health sector results in the country; with a special emphasis placed on support for Human Resources for Health and Health Financing.

The UHC Partnership started in October 2011 with 7 priority countries and has now been introduced in twenty priority countries; and it has enabled many countries to understand the implications of national health and health financing strategies by providing clear and timely support. Many have successfully integrated free healthcare policies within the overall health financing strategy, as part of their health sector reforms. Lao People’s Democratic Republic joined the partnership from August this year.