Japan to Host G7 Summit: Universal Health Coverage for Health Security

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, and other global health leaders open the international conference.

Japan will host the G7 summit in May 2016 in Ise Shima. To prepare, the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) organized on December 16 an international conference on Universal Health Coverage in the New Development Era: Towards Building Resilient Health Systems. Attended by 300 international participants, the conference was opened by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, followed by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, World Bank President Jim Kim, and philanthropist Bill Gates.

The conference participants recognized that universal health coverage (UHC) is increasingly gaining momentum as a major motif of global health.  Global health leaders and senior government officials discussed how universal access to healthcare around the world can promote development – especially critical for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UHC also can better prepare societies to prevent and tackle health crises like the recent Ebola outbreak. Particular attention was accorded to the recommendations of a Global Health Working Group, which addressed UHC for health, stability, and equity; UHC for preparedness against threats to human security; UHC for aging in health systems; and promoting R&D in global health.

 CMB President Lincoln Chen moderated one of the four major panels at the conference, joined by Piya Hanvoravangchai from CMB’s Bangkok office and Tang Kun from its Beijing office.