PAHO convenes experts from the Americas region to share experiences, lessons learned, and challenges faced by countries to strengthen and reform health systems in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Washington, D.C., 26 September 2022 (PAHO) – The Pan American health Organization (PAHO) launched a series of virtual seminars under the title Policy options for strengthening and transforming health systems in the Americas, bringing together key actors from all sectors of the health sector and facilitating the exchange of experiences, tools, and lessons learned emerging in the Region for the transformation of health systems.
The first meeting of the series took place on 30 August, with the title Transforming and strengthening systems to achieve universal health, and featured Carolina Corcho, Minister of Health and Social Protection of Colombia; Marcus Vinícius Fernandes Dias, Deputy Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Health; and María Begoña Yarza, Minister of Health of Chile. Together with officials and technical staff from the Organization, they reflected on the challenges faced in the Region, and shared the characteristics of the policy initiatives proposed to advance in the transformation and strengthening of the health systems, as well as aspects related to the development of stewardship and governance capacities, to financing with an emphasis on Primary Health Care (PHC), access to health services, governance of service provision networks, participation, and the regulatory capacities of the private sector.
On 7 September, the second meeting was held within the framework of the Issue-based Coalitions Initiative, focused on Health Financing and Health Systems Resilience. The webinar aimed to showcase the main structural health financing issues in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), to highlight country challenges posed by the pandemic and to present a common agenda for the Coalition. The expert panel was composed by Daniel Titelman, director of the Economic Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and coordinator of the thematic coalition on financing for development; Daniel Olesker, former Minister of Health and current Senator of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay; Midori de Habich, former Minister of Health of Peru and part of Abt Associates; and Oscar Cetrángolo, professor at the University of Buenos Aires and researcher at the Interdisciplinary institute of Political Economy (IIEP) of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Panelists discussed the importance of highlighting the main structural problems of health financing in LAC.
For the third edition of this series, the experts propose to discuss how health reform impacts access barriers by asking the question: are our health systems prepared to move towards resilience and universal access? The meeting aims to problematize the situation of access barriers, the impact of the pandemic on access to health services, and its relationship with policy initiatives. Also, the webinar seeks to share experiences in the analysis and approach of access barriers as a starting point for the development of resilient health systems based on PHC; and to highlight the institutional capacities of health authorities that must be strengthened for the full exercise of Essential Public Health Functions (FESP) and approach to access barriers. This third event in the series will take place on October 11 at 10 a.m. (EDT). To participate in the meeting, register here.
The series of virtual seminars is framed in the "Strategy for Building Resilient Health Systems and Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery to Sustain and Protect Public Health Gains", approved by PAHO´s Member States in 2021, who entrusted the Organization with the task of providing technical cooperation to strengthen capacities, promote regional cooperation and dialogue and the sharing of knowledge and experiences as to support countries in addressing these new structural challenges that health systems are facing.
Click here for more information on the webinar series on Policy Options to Strengthen and Transform Health Systems in the Americas and on upcoming events.