Accelerating Adoption of Universal Health Coverage in Post-2015 Era: The Role of the Private Sector

29 September 2015
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“The interconnectedness between health and economic development is well-established, but poverty should no longer mean poor health, nor should ill health lead to poverty,” said Rabin Martin President & CEO Dr. Jeffrey L. Sturchio on the eve of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). His remarks were delivered during Accelerating Adoption of Universal Health Coverage in the Post-2015 Era: The Role of the Private Sector, an event to help articulate how companies, NGOs, academe, private providers and others can assist governments implement UHC.

Dr. Stefan Oschmann, Vice Chairman and Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and President of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), in his keynote address, called for the need to optimize the expertise and experience of the private sector in supporting countries realize the vision of UHC. He was later joined by global health experts Ambassador Sally Cowal, Senior Vice President of Global Programs at the American Cancer Society, Pape Gaye, President & CEO of IntraHealth International and Michael Myers, Managing Director at The Rockefeller Foundation for a panel moderated by Jeff Sturchio.

The panelists examined the challenges to achieving UHC and emphasized a few key issues that need to be addressed – chronic illness, building the health workforce and increased political commitment. Dr. Nata Menabde, Executive Director of the World Health Organization Office at the United Nations delivered closing remarks, highlighting the importance of establishing a public policy agenda that builds on successful and effective public-private partnerships to achieve UHC goals at the country level.

The event, which is part of a larger project to elucidate the important contributions that the private sector can bring to bear in helping countries realize the vision of universal health coverage, drew a high-level audience of nearly 200 people, including global health luminaries and executives from the private sector, the U.S. government, foundations, the World Health Organizations, patient groups and international non-government organizations. Held on September 24, 2015 at the Westin Grand Central Hotel in New York, NY, the event was co-hosted by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the Graduate Institute of International Relations and Development Studies, Geneva, The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health and the Study of Business Enterprise and Rabin Martin on the occasion of the 70th United Nations General Assembly.

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