HP+ Satellite Session at PMAC2020 Considers the Role of the Private Sector in Achieving Universal Health Coverage
The private sector plays an important role in strengthening access to family planning, maternal and child health, and other primary healthcare services in many low- and middle-income countries. Increasingly, governments are recognizing the importance of engaging the private sector to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) goals.
In late January, HP+ coordinated closely with USAID on a half-day satellite session at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference (PMAC)/UHC Forum 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. The session, “Harnessing the Private Sector for UHC through Smart Policy,” provided an interactive forum for participants to consider how an enabling environment for private sector engagement can contribute to achieving UHC goals.
Using country examples from Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Senegal, participants explored why and when private sector engagement is vital and strategic, and the different approaches to engage private health sector players in the development and implementation of policy and regulatory frameworks in support of UHC. The framework presented by HP+ resonated with the audience and highlighted new opportunities for countries just embarking on a journey in private sector engagement. The speakers and participants engaged in a lively discussion on how countries can reap the benefits of private sector approaches while containing the perceived risk of profit-driven business agendas. Conference participants—comprising representatives from governments, nongovernmental organizations, and implementing partners—emerged from the session energized to further enhance private sector engagement efforts in their spheres of work.