Moving Towards Universal Health Coverage:
Health Financing Matters

Date: 24-28 January 2012

Venue : Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at Central World



Health financing is one of the six building blocks of the WHO health systems framework,i.e., service delivery; health workforce; information system; medical products & technologies; financing; and leadership & governance. The Framework provides clear functions and poses major challenges of each building block, in particular healthcare financing faced by the developing countries. It is clear that health system strengthening requires integrated responses of all six building blocks.

It is well recognized that functional health system requires equitable, effi cient and sustainable health financing which ensures access and utilization of essential health services without financial barrier and people are protected from fi nancial catastrophe or impoverishment due to illnesses. This is the goal of health fi nancing system aiming at universal health coverage (UHC).

The World Health Assembly resolution, WHA 58.33 in 2005 on “sustainable health financing, universal coverage and social health insurance” urges member states to ensure that the health fi nancing systems include prepayment method with a view of risk sharing and solidarity. WHO and partners convened the fi rst global symposium on health system research with the theme of “science to accelerate universal health coverage” in Montreux in November 2010. About 1,200 registered participants who are researchers, policymakers, funders, academia and other stakeholders representing diverse constituencies gathered to share evidences and experiences and identify knowledge gaps and need of research in low and middle income countries to foster the momentum of universal coverage movement. The latest World Health Report in 2010 on “health system financing: the path to universal coverage” was launched in Berlin, Germany in 22-23 November 2010 and subsequently in Beijing, China on 29 November 2010. The report reaffirms all countries can improve the health fi nancing system and strongly persuades faster moving towards universal health coverage goals.

There are also other concerted movements to improve the health financing systems and to move towards universal health coverage. The 2009 G8 summit in Toyako committed on health system strengthening which focused on three interrelated components: health information systems, human resources for health and health care financing. There are also movements at global, regional and country levels to support technical collaboration e.g., the High Level Task Force on UHC, the Joint Learning Network supported by Rockefeller Foundation as well as South-South collaboration.

Given the rich context on UHC, time has come to share the country experiences and challenges on financing reforms and to push this momentum forward in order to effectively translate good policy intention into concrete actions in accelerating towards UHC.

The Prince Mahidol Award Conference is an annual international conference hosted by the Royal Thai Government, the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation, and other relevant International Organizations, Foundations and Civil Society Organizations. The Conference serves as an international forum for sharing evidences for health related policies and strengthens social commitments for health development. This conference is linked to the annual Prince Mahidol Award for public health and medicines, one of the most prestigious international health awards. The 2012 Prince Mahidol Award Conference is dedicated to deliberation on experiences on health financing reform, support global dialogue and foster movements towards universal health coverage.

Resilient and responsive health system is foundation and pre-requisites to successful UHC achievement; it requires functioning healthcare delivery system particularly at PHC level where the majority poor can access and use service when needed, adequate number and skill-mix of health workforce who are responsive to the population health needs, adequate, equitable and effi cient health fi nancing, health information systems which guide evidence based policy decision, availability of medicines and medical products and governance of the system. This Conference focuses on the contribution of health financing in advancing towards UHC; however other enabling environment would be addressed.





Download: Opening Session VDO 2012


  1. To position the universal health coverage in the global and national development agendas.

  2. To identify enabling factors contributing to success of health fi nancing reforms e.g. political, economic, societal support, health services infrastructure especially primary health care, human resources for health, acceptability and expectation of  people.

  3. To review and share experiences among low, middle and high-income countries at different stages of achieving universal health coverage, on different dimensions of universal coverage such as financing sources, risk pooling, strategic purchasing, governance and outcome of different designs of universal coverage

  • International Organizing Committee




Program 2012 Proceeding 2012