ABR Seminar on UHC (28-29jan19): Dr Phua Kai Hong on the Astana Declaration and migrant health

At the International ABR Seminar on UHC (Singapore, 28-29 January 2019), Dr PHUA Kai Hong from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, will discuss the Astana Declaration on primary health care and its implications on health and migration.

Universal Health Coverage and Primary Health Care: The Astana Declaration and Implications for Health and Migration

There is no Universal Health Coverage without Primary Health Care. Forty years after the WHO Alma-Ata Declaration of Primary Health Care, universal health for all has still to be achieved. The recent Astana Declaration was updated to brings the ideals of the Alma-Ata Declaration to a realistic and strategic level to also include political will to commit adequate financing and to reach an acceptable quality for Primary Health Care for all populations.

A growing interest on the intersection between migration and healthcare emanates from social and economic issues pertaining to the lack of access of migrants to healthcare. Despite making access to healthcare a basic human right, approaches of each country to include migrants into the healthcare system significantly varies. In Asia, countries are concerned whether exclusion of migrant workers from healthcare will generate social costs and negative externalities that can be detrimental to their continued growth.

The case of Singapore serves to illustrate the challenges faced by economies with a huge migrant worker population. A policy analysis was conducted to examine the causes and manifestations of the healthcare exclusion. Stakeholders were also identified and analysed in terms of their interest and power to influence the inclusiveness of the healthcare system. Micro-cases of exclusion were documented to provide a qualitative basis for computing costs using an innovative cost analysis framework. The study is an initial attempt of computing for the total cost of exclusion within a range of contextual factors and conditions in order to contribute towards policies to improve healthcare for migrant populations.

abr 190128 uhc photo phua 1 croppedDr PHUA Kai Hong

lectures Health Economics at the Singapore Management University and holds adjunct appointments at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore. He is also a Visiting Professor to the Graduate School of Public Policy at the Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. He was previously Associate Professor and Head of the Health Care Division and of the Health Services Research Unit at the Department of Community, Occupational & Family Medicine, Yong loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS. He received a Master’s in Health Services Administration & Population Sciences from the Harvard School of Public Health and a PhD in Social Administration specializing in Health Economics from the London School of Economics & Political Science.

Dr Phua was the co-lead and corresponding author of the overview article in the Lancet Series on Health in Southeast Asia (2011), and co-editor of the Social Science & Medicine special issue on Health Systems in Asia (2016). As Principal Investigator, he led the Rockefeller-funded project on Asian Trends Monitoring awarded to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Centre for Strategic Futures. He led the Asian component of an Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) comparative research project on health and migration. He is serving on the WHO Expert Committee on The Economics of Healthy Ageing, 2017-2019. He was an invited speaker on Primary Health Care for Migrants at the 2018 WHO Conference on Primary Health Care held in Astana.

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