WHO Director General Assured PH to Achieve Universal Health Care

Geneva WHO 1

Permanent Representatives of the ASEAN Missions in Geneva.  From left: Representatives from the Missions of Lao, Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Philippines, Director General Tedros, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar on 17 April 2018.

GENEVA 30 April 2018 – Philippine Permanent Representative Evan P. Garcia, along with the Permanent Representatives of the ASEAN Missions to the United Nations in Geneva, hosted the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for lunch on 17 April 2018 to discuss the global public health priorities in preparation for the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA71) this May 2018, the first under the watch of the new Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Philippine Permanent Representative Evan P. Garcia assured the Director General that universal health care of the Philippines is already on track for achieving UHC under PhilHealth, and ahead of the curve when it comes to policies towards financing for health, the main roadblock towards achieving “Health for All”.  He further assured the DG that the Philippine delegation, led by the Secretary of Health and the Philippine Mission, will be at the Walk the Talk event in force.

DG Tedros briefed the Permanent Representatives on the major events coming up in the calendar of the WHO, particularly the goals of the 71st meeting of the World Health Assembly (WHA71) in May, for which he hopes ASEAN Member States can speak on their concrete and ambitious commitments to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage, target 3.8 of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

DG Tedros asked the Permanent Representatives to encourage their delegations to make firm pledges for achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the singular policy that has the potential to deliver on the World Health Organization’s constitutional mandate to help member states realize health as fundamental human right - a timely theme for the 70th anniversary of the World Health Organization.

An invitation to actively participate at the Walk the Talk kick-off event for the WHA71 to be led by the Director General on 20 May 2018 was issued to all. 

The lunch with the new heads of international organizations is a tradition for the ASEAN Committee in Geneva, which was initiated by the Philippines during its chairmanship year, and completed by Singapore, the current chair of ASEAN. END

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