|Poverty and ill-health have a cause-effect relationship in that the poor are often denied access to appropriate health care, thus increasing chances of ill-health. This in turns limits their ability to engage in productive activities. With a large number of people lacking access to basic health care in the Asian and Pacific region, greater efforts are needed to achieve universal coverage. This document is a collection of national studies done in Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia and Viet Nam which consider the significance of investing in health care with the aim of protecting all from ill health, in particular the most vulnerable. The studies adopt an analytical approach in identifying relevant issues and also putting forward a series of recommendations.