Tuesday, July 20, 2021
10:00 a.m. (EDT)

Latin America and the Caribbean has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a disproportionate impact in terms of cases and deaths. This occurs because it is a particularly vulnerable region, given its high levels of informality, urbanization, poverty, inequality, and due to the existence of weak health and social protection systems, with large groups of the population in vulnerable conditions. An unprecedented economic crisis has been generated, threatening to roll back the progress of per capita regional income to 10 years ago (CEPAL-OPS, 2020).

One of PAHO’s priorities for 2021 is supporting the development of resilient health systems, both in the control and post-covid-19 stages. Aiming to ensure the sustainability of the systems and the protection of previous achievements in terms of public health intervention, and also in order to maintain and institutionalize the measures associated with the pandemic control and preparedness.

Objective(s) of the meeting: 

The main objective of this Webinar Series on Public Investment in Health in Times of COVID-19 is to reflect on the role of health financing in the set of measures promoted by countries and international agencies, in particular, those that affect the health sector, to inform the dialogue and advocacy for the strengthening of health systems.

The first webinar of the series is devoted to financial protection, which is a key component of Universal Health, defined as people having access to the health services they require and being protected from potential financial hardship that may result from the use of services. Universal health represents the key objective of health systems policy globally and is a target for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The webinar covered a global and regional perspective on financial protection, as well as a revision of the global and regional situation during the pandemic context and a country case experience.

This series of events is aimed at technical officials and authorities of government institutions of health and the financial sector of the Member States; to decision makers in general, and technical and professional officials related to health financing in the countries and international collaboration agencies; to the academic community, and PAHO Collaborating Centers in the Region of the Americas.

Brief synthesis of the topics: 
  • Global perspective (WHO)
  • Regional perspective (PAHO)
  • Financial protection in times of COVID-19 (World Bank)
  • Country case – Uruguay
Speakers. Brief summary of the curriculum: 

Moderator - Amalia Del Riego, Unit Chief Health Services and Access, Health Systems and Services Department, PAHO/WHO

Opening session - Jarbas Barbosa, Assistant Director, PAHO/WHO

Financial protection: a global perspective – Gabriela Flores, Senior Health Economist, Department of Health Systems Governance and Financing, WHO

Financial protection in Latin America and the Caribbean – Camilo Cid, Advisor in Health Economics and Financing, PAHO/WHO

Financial protection in times of COVID-19 – Ajay Tandon, Lead Economist, World Bank

Health financing and financial protection in Uruguay – Luis González Machado, General Director, National Health Board, Ministry of Public Health, Uruguay 

Closing session – James Fitzgerald, Director Health Systems and Services, PAHO/WHO

Heatlh Systems, Health for All, Universal Health, Health Financing
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