Event update for The Economist Events’ 5th Health care in Asia 2014 forum

Asian countries are at wildly different stages of development. This is nowhere truer than in health-care policy.Some countries have very well developed—even rigid—health-care systems. In others, the health-care system is evolving rapidly.
Across much of the region, a unique window of opportunity has opened. Some governments are at risk of repeating mistakes made in other parts of the world. Yet other innovative policymakers and providers are forging a radically different path from the long-established health-care systems of the West. Many are trying to learn from the mistakes others have made. The best are leapfrogging ahead to entirely new models of health care.
Regional gatherings often fall into the trap of focusing on the question of what Asia can learn from other parts of the world. At Health care in Asia 2014, the discussion will turn this question on its head. What can Asian countries teach each other? And what can the world learn from Asia?
The focus of the two-day event will be innovative case studies, best practice examples and interviews with the policymakers, private-sector providers and front-line medical professionals behind some of the best and boldest new health-care models across Asia.
Health care in Asia, launched in 2010, brings together leading experts from around the globe to discuss healthcare reforms in the region. Our panellists have included health ministers, global heads of private firms, leading academics and senior executives from NGOs and multilaterals.
The 2014 programme will focus firmly and optimistically on the future, inspiring delegates to take the best of the new Asian health-care models back to their home countries.
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
Charlotte Howard, Health-care Correspondent, The Economist
Draft programme
8.00 am
Registration and refreshments
8.45 am
Opening remarks
Introduction from the chairman on the background, vision and objectives for Health care in Asia 2014
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
9.15 am
Keynote address and interview
Navigating the challenges of universal health care
In this keynote address and interview, the minister of health for Thailand will discuss Thailand’s experience with his country’s implementation of the second phase of universal coverage. How did Thailand navigate challenges and reach success? What are lessons that may be shared with other countries in the region?
Pradit Sintavanarong, Minister of Public Health, Thailand
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
10.00 am Panel discussion: Universal coverage in Asia—the hard road from vision to reality
Most governments in Asia have committed themselves to universal care. As implementation continues, what challenges do they face in ensuring universal access to good care? Senior policymakers at different stages in the path towards universal coverage share their experiences, including mistakes and victories.
 What lessons can Australia, Japan, Korea and Taiwan provide?
 How is China and Indonesia navigating challenges surrounding implementation?
 In addition to the percentage of population covered, what should be the key metrics of
success for universal care?
 How can governments afford universal care in the long term?
Charlotte Howard, Health-care Correspondent, The Economist
10.45 am Networking break
11.15 am
The great debate
Does primary care belongs in hospitals?
Some policymakers and academics say that patients can be treated more efficiently in community hospitals or clinics rather than hospitals for primary care. But much of the region continues to see a proliferation of large hospitals, secondary and tertiary care.
This session will feature debating points of view. Speakers who see the opportunity for Asian health-care systems to depart from the status quo will support the question. Meanwhile,proponents of Asia’s booming hospital sector, who see a new future for the hospital in evolving health systems, will oppose it.
Moderator: Vivek Muthu, Chief Executive, Bazian, Economist Intelligence Unit
12.00 pm Panel discussion: China—health system in transition
The mission of providing universal coverage for 1.3bn people would be daunting for any health reformer. In 2009 the Chinese government launched ambitious plans to transform its health-care system and to establish “safe, effective, convenient and low-cost health-care services” to all its citizens by 2020. Four years later, according to the government, the basic medical security network has been extended to over 95% of the total population. This accomplishment is indeed
laudable. Yet quality care is still out of reach for the majority of the population.
 How is the government planning for a rise in health costs?
 How is the government planning to care for its ageing population?
 Patients often travel to prestigious hospitals for care, when they could be treated more
efficiently in community hospitals or clinics. How is the government ensuring that patients
receive the right care in the right place?
 What lessons are there for other Asian markets in how China has addressed its challenges?
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
12.45 pm Networking luncheon
2.05 pm Introducing quality care to Asia’s poorest communities
This session features break-out sessions with three case studies of innovative ways to introduce good care to poor populations in Asia. Each break-out group will brainstorm the respective challenge question. The conclusions will be shared with the main room.
Which business models have been shown to work? How are industry, NGOs, governments and communities working together? How do we grow the number of health-care workers in rural areas?
The following concurrent breakout sessions will take place in separate rooms.
Break-out session 1:
Public initiative
Case study: Public initiative to introduce previously unaffordable, high-quality care to low-income population
(Example: Andhra Pradesh’s dialysis services)
Challenge: How can public health systems ensure the best quality care is available in the poorest communities?
Discussion leader:
Henry Dummett, Asia-Pacific Director, Double Helix Consulting
Break-out session 2:
Business model
Case study: A business model or R&D programme that works to serve the low-income, rural Asian population.
Challenge: What viable and scalable business models are possible for medical technology companies looking to serve the
poorest communities in Asia?
Discussion leader:
Vivek Muthu, Chief Executive, Bazian, Economist Intelligence Unit
Break-out session 3:
Health-care workforce 
Case study: An initiative aimed at recruiting, training or developing qualified healthcare workers.
Challenge: How do we grow the number of health-care workers in rural areas, where there is significant need for quality
Discussion leader:
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
3.35 pm Networking break
4.05 pm Feedback from break-out sessions
4.50 pm Case study and panel discussion: Treating an ageing population
Japan is already facing the burden of a vast and growing elderly population. It is already trite to say China will get old before it gets rich. This session will start with a case study from Japan and then explore the topic in a panel with a range of views on challenges and solutions across the region.
 What building blocks are necessary to ensure that ageing populations receive equitable,compassionate and affordable care in the future?
 What models within Asia are working, or under development, for the long-term treatment and care of elderly patients?
 How can the long-term financial sustainability of these models be assured?
Charlotte Howard, Health-care Correspondent, The Economist
5.40 pm Closing remarks
5.45 pm End of day 1 and networking cocktail reception
8.30 am
Registration and refreshments
9.00 am
Welcome remarks
9.05 am Keynote interview: In conversation with The Economist
Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director of South-East Asia Region*, World Health Organisation
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit 
*as of February 1st 2014
9.40 am
What if…?
An interactive session to re-imagine health-care systems in Asia
What if we could create the best possible health-care system in Asia? Indeed, it is possible as many health-care systems in Asia are rapidly developing. It’s not too late for these countries to avoid the mistakes of the West in creating inefficient, high-cost health-care models.
In this session we ask each table to “wear the hat” of a stakeholder group (such as policymakers, hospital heads, general practitioners, patients, private providers, industry) and, setting aside legacy issues, to imagine how they would build a new health-care system from the ground up that best addresses the needs of Asian populations.
Each table will respond to the same three questions, but from the perspective of the stakeholder group that they are representing:
 What would they like to stop happening?
 What would they like to start happening?
 What would they like to continue happening?
Vivek Muthu, Chief Executive, Bazian, Economist Intelligence Unit
10:40 am Networking break
11:10 am What if…?
Response panel
In the previous session, delegates brainstormed recommendations for what they would like to see from different stakeholder groups in order to create the ideal Asian health-care system of the future.
In this session, a panel of actual representatives from each stakeholder group from across the region will respond to the desirability and feasibility of these recommendations.
Charlotte Howard, Health-care Correspondent, The Economist
12:00 pm Take-aways from Health care in Asia 2014
The conference chairmen will be joined by experts to synthesise actionable recommendations coming out of the conference proceedings, with relevance to the full array of stakeholders in health care, both public and private.
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
Charlotte Howard, Health-care Correspondent, The Economist
12.25 pm Closing remarks
Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit
12.30 pm Networking luncheon and end of conference