Global News

Homenet South East Asia (HNSEA) Holds Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Workshop in Laos.

Affiliates of HNSEA from Thailand, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia participated in the UHC workshop held Sept. 26-28 in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Government health officials from Thailand, Laos and Indonesia presented UHC-related developments in their home countries in the same workshop.

Members of the Laos Federation of Trade Unions and Oxfam representatives also attended.

Laura Alfers and Da Samantrakul of the Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) facilitated the workshop, which led to a major decision for HNSEA to focus its advocacy efforts on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Thailand is a world leader in the UHC movement and ASEAN member as well as other countries in Asia like Sri Lanka and Nepal have committed to implement UHC. With informal employment accounting for over 60% of non-agricultural employment in most developing regions, the unique needs of informal workers need to be considered when implementing health program, as this has significant implications for both the financing and delivery of health services. The workshop united worker organizations, national health policymakers, other civil society groups and allies in the field of public health to:

• Build awareness and commitment to UHC among affiliates of HomeNet South East Asia in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Indonesia; • Map out the possibilities for alliances/coalitions with other civil society organizations and public health bodies in the region, and nationally within countries; • engagements, including identifying key forums and processes.(something missing here)

• Start the process of developing key policy messages on UHC from an informal worker perspective (general messages, country-specific messages and technical messages) and;

• Develop a workplan and strategy for both national and regional advocacy

Laura Alfers, Director of WIEGO’s Social Protection Programme made a presentation on good practices on health & informal workers from members of the WIEGO network.

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