Given the strong political commitment of the Philippines to reduce out of pocket expenditures for health and to move towards universal health coverage, the conference aimed to discuss issues such as organisational arrangements in the health system, decentralisation, equity as well as the role of the private sector. Kaspar Wyss, who heads the Swiss Centre for International Health, presented on the Swiss health care system and its relevance to the Philippines. “Strong political commitment toward good health for the whole population is key to work toward universal health coverage,” said Kaspar Wyss.
Other speakers included Lilibeth David (Philippines Department of Health), Eduardo Banzon (Asian Development Bank), Ernesto Garilao (Zuellig Family Foundation), Juergen Brokatzky-Geiger (Novartis) and Louise Abbott, (Roche). The speakers discussed approaches to strengthen health governance in the Philippines and the role of innovation and research for improving health systems performance.
Together with over 200 participants, the panel explored ways on how governments can engage and cooperate with the private sector and on how to ensure sustainability of public-private health care initiatives. Speakers concluded that mutual learning between Switzerland and Philippines would be beneficial to improve health system’s performance in both countries.