Through the APEC Health Working Group, a regional forum dedicated to demonstrating the value of health for economic growth and development, APEC members delivered a consensus statement on UHC at the meeting, according to a statement received from the working group on Wednesday.
In the statement, the working group underscored the interdependence between health and the economy, as shown by the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact.
Citing this, APEC members reaffirmed their efforts toward strengthening health systems and especially in enhancing preparedness and response to public health emergencies.
"Achieving UHC will ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all through the life course, as well as build a healthier world for all," chair of the APEC Health Working Group, Narong Aphikulvanich, said.
He stated that healthy communities and healthy people contribute to healthy economies in the region because "'there is no wealth without health".
"Keeping this in mind, we must strive to improve our health system as well as security and invest in it," he continued.
In the statement, APEC members reiterated their commitment to achieving UHC through the primary role and responsibility of governments, and a multi-sectoral approach involving the private sector and civil society for finding solutions.
Last August, on the sidelines of the APEC High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy in Seattle, governments, private sector players, and non-governmental stakeholders from APEC members convened to advance understanding and further align on key priorities related to UHC.
The meeting included an expert panel and an open discussion to drive collective action toward the achievement of UHC by 2030.
Notable actions discussed at the meeting included multi-stakeholder contributions to unlock transformative innovations and ways to foster effective partnerships, as well as the need for collaboration to finance critical gaps and ensure that the path to UHC empowers individuals, families, and communities.
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