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Asia and the Pacific Health Financing Forum: Financing Primary Health Care

September 15-16, 2022
Bangkok, Thailand
Asia & the Pacific Health Financing Forum

The Asia & The Pacific Health Financing Forum (APHFF) is co-hosted by the World Bank, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, the Global Financing Facility, and the US Agency for International Development with support from the Global Fund, the Joint Learning Network, the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunisation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Taking place on September 15 & 16, 2022 with the theme, ‘Financing Primary Health Care: Opportunities at the Boundaries’, the APHFF puts a regional focus on the global discussion highlighted at the recent global Annual Health Financing Forum held in June 2022.

Ensuring that health services are easily available to people and communities, the essence of primary health care (PHC), has been a focus of global health debates since the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978. Effective PHC requires the availability of and access to a range of personal services at the first point of care, covering prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation, and playing a key role in the integration of personal care across system levels and health conditions. It also includes activities in support of essential public health functions such as population-based health protection and promotion, disease control, health system governance, and the support and engagement of sectors other than health. And it calls for community participation in the development and delivery of these services.

Despite more than 50 years of global attention to PHC, including efforts over the past ten years working towards universal health coverage (UHC) with essential services and financial protection, the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how health systems in many low- and middle-income countries remain focused on delivering secondary and tertiary care. Frequently, only limited health services and medicines are available at the first point of contact, often of poor quality and requiring considerable out-of-pocket costs. The result is that many people choose to bypass this care altogether.

Recent findings in the Lancet Commission on Financing Primary Health Care: Putting people at the Centre have further sharpened focus on the issue and will inform the APHFF.

The two-day forum is being held in Bangkok, Thailand.

The forum will focus on approaches to mobilizing and pooling funds to pay for PHC. It will offer nine sessions that look at opportunities at the boundaries, that is, areas where the way forward remains controversial or unclear.