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PMAC 2016 Side Event (SE 026): Making decision makers accountable: better journalism – better chances of getting to Universal Health Coverage

PMAC 2016 Side Event (SE 026): Making decision makers accountable: better journalism – better chances of getting to Universal Health Coverage
This workshop will bring together journalists, bloggers and editors from around the world to share stories of reporting countries’ journey towards and efforts to sustain Universal Health Coverage. The session will include components around the principles of priority-setting, cost-effectiveness, and health technology assessment (HTA). Furthermore, it will have interactive sessions to reflect on the challenges, good and bad practices in the reporting of priority-setting through sharing of experiences from different settings and discussions about tangible next steps.

Date: Tuesday 26 January 2016, 09:00 –16:45 (including lunch and coffee breaks)
Place: Lotus Suite 6, Floor 22, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center, Bangkok
Type of side event: By invitation only

Speakers and moderators

  • Mr Chavarong Limpattamapanee – Chairman, National Press Council of Thailand
  • Prof John Appleby, Chief Economist, The King’s Fund, UK
  • Ms Sarah Boseley, Health Editor, The Guardian, UK
  • Mr Rajesh Mirchandani, Senior Director of Communications and Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development, USA
  • Ms Benjarin Santatiwongchai, Researcher, Health Interventions and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Thailand
  • Dr Sripen Tantivess, Senior Researcher, Health Interventions and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Thailand
  • Mr Nick Timmins, Senior Fellow, Policy, The King’s Fund, UK

Background

Every health dollar can only be spent once. As an increasing number of low- and middle-income countries commit to universal health coverage (UHC; UN adopts ‘momentous’ resolution on universal healthcare, The Guardian, 13 Dec 2012), there is a growing recognition by governments and other stakeholders in respective health systems of the need to set priorities explicitly for spending hence making the most of limited resources, in order to achieve and sustain the objectives of UHC (Center for Global Development Report: http://www.cgdev.org/working-group/priority-setting-institutions-global-health). The competing claims of different stakeholders against a finite budget lie at the crux of priority-setting in health, and in many countries the media yield significant power in influencing how these claims are to be understood by the general public and acted upon by policymakers.

While the role of the media varies from country to country, there will be technical, political and ethical issues around priority-setting common that are shared across settings, as well as generalisable principles for understanding and communicating such notions as priority setting, rationing and fair access to services, of relevance to journalists and editors worldwide.

We shall aim to use this side meeting, bringing together journalists, bloggers and editors from around the world, to share our stories of reporting countries’ journey towards and efforts to sustain UHC.

Session Objectives

1. To increase understanding of:

  • How limited resources can be allocated fairly and efficiently to meet demands by patients; why this matters especially in the context of the drive towards UHC; how good reporting can help governments to become more accountable and make better decisions, and service users to understand and influence the reality they live in.
  • Best practices for objective and impartial journalistic reporting for stories linked to access to technologies and services, and also to institutions set up by governments to make such decisions. Such stories could cover individual policy decisions to include or exclude a drug/treatment from the government-funded package, within any given journalistic environment (which might comprise but not be limited to free speech, regulation, professional codes of conduct)

2. To understand existing efforts for the networking and capacity-building of health/science/development journalists, and inform next steps in building such efforts, with the ultimate aim of improving journalistic reporting of priority-setting in health, globally, regionally and at individual country levels.

Session overview
The workshop will include:

  • Short technical components around the principles of priority-setting, cost-effectiveness, and health technology assessment (HTA), illuminated using with many examples of case studies, stories, media coverage
  • Interactive sessions to reflect on the challenges, good and bad practices in the reporting of priority-setting through sharing of experiences from different settings (including from key stakeholders in health priority-setting), including around expensive, politically contentious technologies such as human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, cancer medicines, screening diagnostic tests
  • Discussions about tangible next steps, including establishing a community of practice and possible communication tools to support better reporting at global/country levels.

Pre-workshop task for participants
Please bring along any relevant stories you have covered in your country that you would like to share during the workshop. In particular, try to prepare examples around healthcare interventions that appear to be unaffordable, with the following issues in mind:

  • Is there any sort of rationing in your country?
  • Are there medicines or treatments that some people can get but others cannot?
  • What is your government’s approach to this?
  • What other perceived or actual challenges face your country in relation to healthcare (e.g. poor quality of care, politically contentious health policy decisions, fraud, corruption)
  • Do you have difficulties in covering any of these stories?

Organisers

  • Ms Sarah Boseley, Health Editor, The Guardian, UK
  • Dr Sripen Tantivess, Senior Researcher, Health Interventions and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP), Thailand
  • Prof John Appleby, Chief Economist, The King’s Fund, UK
  • Dr Kalipso Chalkidou, Director, NICE International
  • Dr Ryan Li, Adviser, NICE International

Contact persons:
Dr Ryan Li, Adviser, NICE International
Tel: +44 (0)7748 703 693
Email: ryan.li@nice.org.uk

Chalarntorn Yothasmutra, Head of Communication unit, HITAP
Email: comm@hitap.net

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Agenda of SE 026 Making decision makers accountable: better journalism – better chances of getting to Universal Health Coverage23 August 2019Download
19 January 2016

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