P039 – Strengthening Strategic Health Purchasing in Southeast Asia: An Overview of Regional Practices, Challenges and Capacity-Building Needs

Organized Session 25

Date: Friday 10 May 2024
Time: 09:00 - 10:15 AM
Room: Orchid
Speakers: Yot Teerawattanon, Vanphanom Sychareun, Nguyen Khanh Phuong, Shita Dewi, Kiesha Prem, Capucine Barcellona

Details descriptions of the session:

Strategic health purchasing (SP) is a key mechanism to increase fiscal space and support Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This is important in Southeast Asia (SEA), where health spending is fragmented among governments, insurers and individuals. Though ASEAN has collectively committed to strengthening social health protection, the region continues to face significant resource constraints and out-of-pocket (OOP) spending. Greater technical and allocative efficiency for health is required – however, the diversity of regional health systems has limited collaboration on health financing for UHC.

A greater understanding of SP and of current health purchasing mechanisms can increase regional capacity. For example, key lessons could be shared among countries undergoing health financing reforms; and countries at different stages of development could share experts and resources with their ASEAN peers.
This session will present a background on SP, highlighting the Southeast Asia Regional Collaborative for Health (SEARCH)’s research on health purchasing mechanisms across SEA. It will present case studies, best practices and challenges from multiple ASEAN countries. Finally, it will encourage participants to discuss the next steps required to build capacity for SP; and how technical experts can support regional decision-makers and bureaucrats in their implementation of SP initiatives.

Learning objectives and target audience:

The learning objectives for this session will include:

  1. To discuss the importance of SP as a health financing tool, with a focus on primary healthcare.
  2. To understand the landscape of health purchasing in Southeast Asia – including financing schemes, contracting arrangements and performance monitoring – and to identify best practices and common challenges among regional health systems.
  3. To discuss the next steps required for capacity-building and policy advocacy for SP in SEA, and how regional experts could support these efforts.

This session will include technical (development partners, health economists, academics) and non-technical (policymakers, funders, civil servants, global health researchers) stakeholders as target audiences.

Structure of presentation:
  • Presentation by SEARCH on the concept of SP and on the current health purchasing landscape in SEA. (5 mins)
  • Panel discussion highlighting SP case studies from across SEA (best practices, lessons learned, regional challenges). (30 mins)
  • Breakout/group discussion on:
    1. key areas of need to increase SP capacity & practice in SEA, including short- and mid-term next steps;
    2. how existing regional experts can facilitate SP efforts across countries.
    (30 mins)
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