How are governments and the private sector collaborating in response to the COVID-19 crisis? What are the lessons for future efforts to progress health systems capacity and universal health coverage? And how can researchers contribute to this effort?
A new virtual mutual learning series – ‘Unlocking Private Enterprise for Public Good – Redesigning Health Systems for UHC during COVID-19 and beyond’ – is being co-convened by members of HSG’s Private Sector in Health Thematic Working Group and the Knowledge to Policy (K2P) Center at the American University of Beirut to identify ways that research evidence can jointly help both governments and the private sector respond to the COVID-19 challenge and also ensure that lessons learned contribute to strengthening future health systems and achieving universal health coverage. The ultimate goal is to better engage private sector actors in sharing best practices and current constraints and to find the best solutions for the most vulnerable populations.
There is a growing realisation that strategies to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) will require new kinds of collaboration between governments and the private sector.
The speed and rapidity of the COVID-19 pandemic has deeply challenged the capacity of every health system to cope with enormous increases in demand. In many countries this has resulted in unexpected and new partnerships between private providers and the state to augment capacity gaps, contain spread, develop preventive vaccines, and share innovations in diagnosis and treatment. Yet, there continues to be a lack of integrated forums for government, private providers and researchers to support rapid learning.
The first phase of the mutual learning series will comprise three virtual roundtables that will aim to support mutual learning about lessons emerging from new forms of public-private engagement; identify challenges to be addressed; and define ways that research can contribute to both private and public stakeholders in addressing these challenges during the crisis and as countries sustain and rebuild their health systems. These workshops will result in the creation of a shared engagement plan for how to take forward a mutual learning agenda to effectively engage the public and private sectors in re-designing and re-building heath systems to achieve UHC.
Roundtable participants, including Vinod Paul (Member, National Institute of Transforming India), Amod Kumar (Principal Secretary Planning, Government of Uttar Pradesh), Ashish K. Jha (Dean for Global Strategy, Harvard Global Health Institute), Pradeep Kakkattil (Director of the Programme Partnerships and Fundraising, UNAIDS), Jayasree K. Iyer (Executive Director, Access to Medicine Foundation), Stefan Swartling Peterson (Chief of Health, UNICEF), Arvind Lal (Executive Chairman, Dr Lal PathLabs), Githinji Gitahi (Group CEO, AMREF Health Africa), Marian Wentworth, President and CEO, Management Sciences for Health), and Hari Thalpalli (CEO, CallHealth) will share perspectives and experiences of efforts to strengthen capacity and effective governance of mixed health systems during the COVID-19 pandemic and contribute to the shaping of a mutual learning agenda to take forward beyond the first phase of the initiative.
Please join the next virtual event in the series – a webinar on ‘Managing new kinds of public and private health partnerships during and beyond COVID-19’ on the 29th of July at 11am GMT.
To inform the mutual learning series, HSG members and other interested stakeholders are invited to contribute to a short survey.
To find out more about the PSIH TWG’s mutual learning series, contact Karine Gatellier.
Image credit: PHFI