A major event during the Inaugural Asia-Pacific Health Economics Forum held in Bangkok on 19-21 March 1998 organized by the Centre for Health Economics, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok in collaboration with the World Health Organization Regional Office for South East Asia, was the announcement and establishment of the Asia Pacific Health Economics Forum (APHEN). Over 135 participants from different countries attended the meeting with one specific goal: to link individuals in the region working in the area of health economics.
In the Asia Pacific region there is a wide range of economic development, with changes occurring in a rapid time frame. These changing economic patterns are closely linked with evolving challenges in the health sector. Against this background, in recent years there has been recognition of the critical need for increasing inputs of health economics to policy planning and implementation.
In this region there is great variation in health economics expertise, underscoring the requisite for strengthening capacity in this field in order to facilitate appropriate advances in the health sector, in accordance with the impact of issues such as expansion of private providers, inequity of access and quality of care, health care financing, improved disease control in transnational border areas, and many others.
There is an expressed desire for countries in the region with common problems to learn from their differing cultural characteristics and from their existing or experimental models rather than placing emphasis primarily on what is available in the West. The needs encompass economic analysis and planning in all aspects and at all levels of health care provision, together with encouragement and promotion of younger health economists within the region itself.
To achieve this it is timely to use appropriate means to establish a regional health economics network that can foster free flow of information and which has attainable specific goals.
The network is directed to health economists and to users of health economic information. The latter include macroeconomic planners, health policy makers, health planners, health professionals, health financiers and insurers, pharmaceutical and other relevant industries, interested public. It also aims to encompass interested international and national agencies in the public and private sectors. Special focus is to be given to encouraging younger, less experienced health economists to join the network.
Scope of the Network
Geographical area:This is a regional network covering countries in Asia and the Pacific.
Issues: Suggested areas of interest which might be covered by the network include
Activities of the network
It is proposed that APHEN activities should include the following: