Online Program

Path towards Universal Health Coverage in the Arab Uprisings Countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:43 p.m.

Shadi Saleh, PhD MPH, Health Managament and Policy, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
The constitutions of many countries in the Arab World clearly highlight the role of governments in guaranteeing the provision of health as a right for all citizens. However, citizens still suffer from inequitable health care systems. One component of such inequity relates to the limited financial access to health care services. The underpinnings of the recent uprisings in the Arab World, commonly referred to as the “Arab Spring”, is believed to have created a sociopolitical momentum that will and should be capitalized on to pave the path towards realizing universal health coverage (UHC). Many “Arab Spring” countries are currently deliberating health coverage as a priority in new constitutions’ dialogues and national policy agendas, as well as non-government organizations’ mission and advocacy campaigns and media. This analysis has three overarching objectives. First, it aims at presenting the public health decision makers and global health activitists with selected global experiences of countries that witnessed similar social and/or political changes and how that affected their path towards UHC. Second, it presents a brief overview of the evolution of health care systems in the Arab World vis-à-vis health care coverage  with a focus on Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Third, it aims at integrating historical lessons with current contexts in a roadmap for action that addresses the challenges and opportunities for progressing towards UHC. Lastly, it presents a knowledge sharing document for countries that are considering or in the intital stages of universal coverage on what facilitators and inhibitors should be considered for succesful adoption of UHC.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the historical trajectory of the health systems in the Arab region. Evaluate the association between the social determinants of health and health system maturity. Identify and analyze a roadmap towards universal health care coverage that Arab countries which witnessed uprising can adopt.

Keyword(s): Universal Health Care, Health Systems Transformation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on health systems issues in the region for a decade. I also have been involved in national and regional initiatives to strategize and implement universal health coverage programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.