Opening Remarks from Dr Shin Young-soo, Regional Director, WHO, Western Pacific Region at the Expert Consultation on the Review of the Implementation of Health Systems Strategies

Manila, Philippines
5 June 2012

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

It is a pleasure to welcome you to this Expert Consultation on the Review of the Implementation of Health Systems Strategies.

Strong health systems are essential for delivery of services to people – whether the services are delivering a baby, immunizing a child or treating tuberculosis or cancer.

The World Health Organization upholds principles that are essential for improving the health and lives of people. These principles include health as a human right, universality and equity, scientific-soundness and community participation.

In applying these values to strengthen their health systems, we have developed in WPRO six regional strategies related to essential components of health system. All these strategies have been endorsed by the Regional Committee.

As an active learning organization, we are embarking on this ambitious review to be able to improve our performance in the future. We want to see how these six health system strategies have been put into effect in countries, and what the impact has been.

The methodological challenges are significant – and that is why you are here!

We need your expertise to guide this process to help us set the boundaries and identify the real issues. Your guidance will help us make an objective and fair analysis in time to report to the Regional Committee in September of next year. For this to happen, research, analysis and reporting have to be completed by June of next year.

I hope that this consultation will yield concrete and feasible suggestions to finalize the process, the overall approach, the methodology and a timeline for review of the health systems strategies. Of course, we must ensure that the approach we take contributes to guiding WHO's future work on health system strengthening in the Western Pacific Region.

Thank you for your participation. I wish you a successful meeting and an enjoyable stay in Manila.

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