Inaugural State of Global Health Symposium

3:00 p.m. Welcome and Introduction

Dean Julio Frenk, Dean of the Faculty
Prof. Wafaie Fawzi, Chair, Department of Global Health and Population

3: 15 p.m. Universal Health Care: The Thai Experience of the Universal Coverage Scheme

Dr. Samrit Srithamrongsawat, Deputy Secretary General, National Health Security Office, Thailand

Dr. Srithamrongsawat will share the Thai experience, with a particular focus on the design, sequencing and implementation of the USC in Thailand. He will discuss achievements to date and identify the challenges that lie ahead. The presentation will conclude with the lessons learned for Thailand and other countries introducing UHC.

3:45 p.m. Panel Discussion

Prof. Rifat Atun (panelist and moderator), Professor of Global Health Systems
Dean Julio Frenk, Dean of the Faculty
Prof. Bill Hsaio, K.T. Li Professor of Economics
Prof. Ashish Jha, Professor of Health Policy and Management

The moderated panel discussion will enable the panelists to reflect on the Thai experience and discuss the lessons emerging for middle- and low-income countries introducing UHC. The panelists will briefly share UHC experiences from Mexico and Turkey followed by a short Q&A and in particular discuss the importance of creating an enabling environment in order to successfully introduce and sustain UHC, including Financing and Quality.

4:45 p.m. Moderated discussion

Prof. Rifat Atun (moderator)

The session will allow the audience to engage in the discussions through questions and answers, but also provide the opportunity for the audience to share their own experiences in relation to UHC.

5:15 p.m. Reception


Dean Frenk Dr. Julio Frenk is Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health and T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, a joint appointment with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Frenk served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, where he introduced universal health coverage. He was the founding director of the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico and has also held leadership positions at the Mexican Health Foundation, the World Health Organization, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Carso Health Institute.  Dr. Frenk holds a medical degree from the National University of Mexico, as well as a Masters of Public Health and a joint doctorate in Medical Care Organization and in Sociology from the University of Michigan. He has been awarded three honorary doctorates.  He is a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico.  In addition to his scholarly works, which include more than 130 articles in academic journals, as well as many books and book chapters, he has written two best-selling novels for youngsters explaining the functions of the human body.  In September of 2008, Dr. Frenk received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for changing “the way practitioners and policy makers across the world think about health.”


Rifat AtunDr. Rifat Atun is Professor of Global Health Systems at Harvard School of Public Health, and Director of the Global Health Systems Cluster. In 2008-12 he was a member of the Executive Management Team of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  His research focuses on health systems reform, diffusion of innovations in health systems and global health financing.  He was a member of the Advisory Committee for the WHO Research Centre for Health Development in Japan and chaired the WHO Task Force on Health Systems and TB control. He is a member of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board, the UK Medical Research Council Global Health Group, Norwegian Research Council Global Health and Vaccination Research Advisory Board, the US National Academies’ Institute of Medicine Standing Committee on Health Systems.  Dr. Atun studied medicine at University of London as a Commonwealth Scholar and undertook his postgraduate medical studies and Masters in business administration at University of London and Imperial College London.  He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health, the Royal College of General Practitioners, and the Royal College of Physicians (UK).


Wafaie FawziDr. Wafaie Fawzi is Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology and Global Health and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard School of Public Health.  He completed his medical training at the University of Khartoum, Sudan and his Doctorate of Public Health in 1992 in the Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health.  He has experience in the design and implementation of randomized controlled trials and observational epidemiologic studies of perinatal health and infectious diseases, with emphasis on nutritional factors. These include examining the epidemiology of adverse pregnancy outcomes, childhood infections, and HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria among populations in Tanzania, India and other developing countries.  Dr. Fawzi is also a Principal Investigator of the MDH HIV/AIDS Care and Treatment Program in Tanzania, which provides for scaling up quality care and treatment services and building operational research capacity.  He is a founding member of the Africa Academy of Public Health, a Harvard affiliated organization that aims to train future public health leaders and build strong research collaborations with partners in Africa.


Bill Hsiao Dr. William Hsiao is K.T. Li Professor of Economics at Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Hsiao’s health policy research program spans across developed and less developed nations. He and his research team focus their economic studies on five topics: a simulation model of the US health sector; payment systems for physicians and hospitals; comparative health care systems; financing health care in developing nations; and interaction between economic development and health care.  Comparing health systems across industrialized nations, Hsiao applies political and economic theories to develop a structural framework of essential elements of health systems. His team uses econometric models to test various hypotheses and to estimate the extent to which each structural element influences health expenditures and health status. Employing his systemic framework, he is assisting Taiwan, Cyprus, Mexico, Colombia, China, and Sweden in their health systems reforms.  In developing nations, Hsiao’s research focuses on the development of sustainable financing mechanisms to provide health care for the poor, rural population, and urban workers. With UNICEF’s support, he collaborates with seven universities in China to conduct a nationwide study on health care financing and provision for 100 million poor Chinese. Meanwhile, with the support of The World Bank, he is launching a large scale social experiment on community financing for the rural Chinese population, involving 100 communities and two million people.


A JhaAshish K. Jha is Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and a practicing Internal Medicine physician at the VA Boston Healthcare System.  Over the past five years, he has served as Special Advisor for Quality and Safety to the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Dr. Jha received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and trained in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco where he also served as Chief Medical Resident.  He completed his General Medicine fellowship from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and received his M.P.H. from Harvard School of Public Health.  Dr. Jha’s major research interests lie in improving the quality and costs of healthcare with a specific focus on the impact of current state and federal policy efforts.  His work has focused on four primary areas:  public reporting, pay-for-performance, health information technology, and leadership, and the roles they play in fixing the U.S. healthcare delivery system.


Samrit SrithamrongsawatDr. Samrit Srithamrongsawat is Deputy Secretary General, National Health Security Office, Thailand and the Director of Health Insurance System Research Office (HISRO), which is a network of the Health System Research Institute, Thailand.  He got his MD from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, in 1984, MPH from Mahidol University, Thailand, in 1989, MSc. in Health Service Management from London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 1995, and PhD in Health Policy and Financing from LSHTM in 2005.  Dr. Samrit started working as a practitioner and director of two district hospitals during 1984-1991. He was working as a deputy Provincial Chief Medical Officer in Phuket Province during 1991 – 1997 before moving to the Health Insurance Office, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, in 1997. After getting his PhD in health policy and financing, he was at the National Health Security Office (NHSO) for a year before turning to HISRO since 2006.  He has more than 10 years’ experience in public health insurance systems and has been substantially doing research and development of health insurance systems. The HISRO mission is to do research, monitoring and evaluation of the Universal Health Coverage in Thailand. He also took lead in doing research on assessment of a decade of Thai Universal Coverage Scheme.