On August 21, 2023, the 7th Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health, hosted by the State Great Hural of Mongolia, with support from the Ministry of Health of Mongolia and the World Health Organization (WHO) began at the Chinggis Khaan Hall of the State Palace of Mongolia.
More than 70 participants, including representatives of the WHO, parliamentarians, and Health Ministers of 15 countries are attending the Meeting, which is to be held from 21-23 August under the theme "Building Primary Health Care for the Future". The opening session of the annual Meeting was presided over by his Excellency G.Zandanshatar, the Chairman of the State Great Hural.
At the beginning of his opening remarks was delivered by Chairman G.Zandanshatar, he wished the participants of the 7th Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health a pleasant stay in Mongolia and highlighted the countries aim to create a health system based on primary health care services that meets to the principles of equality and justice, and make health care accessible to the people.
In his opening remarks, Mr.Zandanshatar wished the participants of the Meeting a pleasant stay in Mongolia and noted that countries have been aiming to create a health care system that is based on primary health care and is in accord with the principles of equality and justice, and to make health care services accessible to the public. He also remarked that the State Great Hural has been working hard to support the reform of the health sector, increase the financing of health care services, include health care issues in the policies of all sectors, and strengthen inter-sectoral cooperation.
Furthermore, Mr.Zandanshatar remarked that one of the ways to ensure quality and equal access to health care is to have the government pay for the costs of public health and primary care services, and mentioned that the draft Law on Public Health Care Services will be debated in the 2023 regular fall session of the State Great Hural, which will commence in September.
In his speech, Mr.Zandanshatar also expressed his confidence that the Meeting would contribute to the international effort to make primary health care and services accessible to all, and that the conclusions and recommendations from the Meeting would have important implications for the healthcare policies and activities of the countries in the region.
Mr.Dongkun Shin, delegate of the President of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health and Chair of the Health and Social Welfare Committee of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, gave an opening speech. Following the speech, Mr.Hima Ikimotu Douglas, Speaker of the Niue Assembly and Mr.Chinzorig, Member of the State Great Hural and Minister of Health of Mongolia wished success to the Meeting, and Dr. Socorro Escalante, WHO Representative to Mongolia, expressed gratitude to the organizers.
The plenary sessions will be organized around the following topics: “Primary Health Care: Why It Matters?”, “Primary Health Care in the Region: Where We Are and Entry Points for Reform”, “Accelerating PHC Reform through Health Innovation: Values, Governance, Financing, Measurement”, and “Entry Points and Pathways for Primary Health Care Reform through Parliamentary Actions”.
Within the framework of the strategic document “The Future of Primary Health Care in the Western Pacific Region”, discussions will be held on enhancing the future policy of primary health care, identifying solutions based on modern scientific research, sharing the experiences of parliaments on leadership support for the reform of primary health care by taking advantages of local opportunities, addressing challenges in technology, financing models and primary health care through partnerships, and presenting innovative ideas and views. Moreover, the parliamentarians are expected to raise issues such as sharing opportunities to focus on supporting primary health care through partnerships at the global, regional, national and local levels, and discuss ways to come up with solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
On the initiative of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health, which has focused on common health care issues not only at the regional level but also at the global level since 2015, now encompasses the Parliaments of 30 countries belonging to the WHO Western Pacific Region and South East Asian Region.
The Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health has become an important platform for multilateral cooperation aimed at increasing the process of political support from parliamentarians for health issues, and thus creating a legal and policy-supportive environment for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by ensuring global public health security.