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Asia-Pacific Development Journal

The Asia-Pacific Development Journal (APDJ) is published twice a year by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. The primary objective of the APDJ is to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, experience, ideas, information and data on all aspects of economic and social development issues and concerns facing the region and aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation. The APDJ provides a scholarly means for bringing together research work by eminent social scientists and development practitioners from the region and beyond for use by a variety of stakeholders. The Journal aims to stimulate policy debate and assist policy formulation in the region.

English

Emerging health issues in Asia and the Pacific: Implications for public health policy

The Asia-Pacific region is confronted with several emerging healthrelated issues. The prevalence of diseases causing high rates of mortality and morbidity, and the lack of skilled health personnel, infrastructure, financial resources and health systems that are responsive to the needs of society, are among them. A pragmatic approach with a focus on issues of major health and socio-economic concern is vital for the development of successful public health services. Striking a balance between different service providers taking into account overall resource constraints, efficacy of service delivery and welfare gains is a key challenge for many countries in the region. While the governments of poor countries need to reinforce their involvement in public health service delivery, its role in other areas could be more of a policymaker and a regulator providing stewardship to different stakeholders. The paper proposes a dual track-approach to health intervention, and highlights the need for prioritization of interventions, better targeting, and effective pooling of both public and private resources in making public health systems efficient and sustainable. Policy reforms that encourage private sector participation in health service delivery and health insurance, and a regulatory framework to protect the environment could be important elements of a re-oriented health policy agenda.

English

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