PAHO holds third webinar of the series “Policy options to strengthen and transform health systems in the Americas”

24 Oct 2022
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Washington, DC, 24 October 2022 (PAHO) – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) held the third webinar of the series “Policy Options to Strengthen and Transform Health Systems in the Americas” on October 11, titled “How health sector reform impacts barriers to access: Are our health systems prepared to move towards resilience and universal access to health?”

According to an estimate based on household surveys from 18 countries from the Region [1], before the COVID-19 pandemic, about a third of the population reported experiencing unmet healthcare needs, highlighting different barriers to accessing health services, which aggravated by the impact of the pandemic.

At the seminar, which brought together more than 950 participants from 44 countries, representatives from various sectors of the health field shared their experiences on how the health reform impacts access barriers and analyzed whether the health systems of the region of the Americas are prepared to move towards resilience and universal access to health.

Piedad Huerta, PAHO/WHO Representative in Honduras, offered the welcoming remarks, and Hernán Rodríguez, Advisor for Health Systems and Services of the PAHO/WHO Office in Peru, moderated the event. Guest speakers included: David Bardey, researcher at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia; Rosmond Adams, Advisor for Health Systems and Services at the PAHO/WHO Office in Suriname; José Ángel Vásquez, Head of the Management Planning and Evaluation Unit of the Honduran Ministry of Health; Valentina Alarcón, General Director of Health Operations of the Ministry of Health of Peru and Ricardo Melgen, Director of Population Health Management of the Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic. The panelists reflected on how to recover and sustain the achievements made in the Region and how to guarantee the resilience of health systems to advance toward universal health. They also highlighted the importance of having evidence available on access barriers to health services to better design public policies that guarantee universal access.

This series of webinars is part of the “Strategy for building resilient health systems and post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery to sustain and protect public health gains”, approved by the PAHO Member States in 2021.

The next series event will take place on November 11 at 10:00 a.m. (EST) and will address the issue of social participation as a key element for strengthening and transforming health systems.

Register for the webinar: Social participation as a key element for strengthening and transforming health systems

More information about the webinar series on Policy options to strengthen and transform health systems in the Americas

[1] Báscolo, E., Houghton, N., A. del Riego, A. (2020). Leveraging household survey data to measure barriers to health services access in the Americas. Pan Am. J. Public Health, 44(100). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.26633/RPSP.2020.100