Marc Purcell, CEO of ACFID, which commissioned the report, said a key takeaway was the importance of supporting our neighbors’ self-determination regarding their health security.
Mr Purcell said: “The findings of this report reinforce that our role is to support them as best we can to strengthen their health systems to ensure their own needs are met.”
The lead author of the second report, Dr Christine Linhart of the School of Population Health, UNSW Sydney, said it was imperative that we focus on building strong and resilient health systems in the Indo-Pacific region, capable of responding to health emergencies such as COVID -19, while maintaining continued access to essential health services and meeting the ongoing health needs of the population.
The report, “Investing in Our Future: Building Strong and Resilient Health Systems in the Indo-Pacific Region,” provides recommendations for health system investment in seven countries.
“We found that efforts to strengthen health systems in the region must focus on improving equity in access, quality of care and value for money, and that without relevant initiatives at the locally and contextually appropriate, these efforts are at risk of failure,” Dr Linhart said. .
International development organization The Fred Hollows Foundation commissioned the report and deputy chief executive Nick Martin said investing in primary care services must be a priority.
“We recognize that our call for increased investment in health and development must be based on evidence. This report shows the inextricable nature of Australia’s relationship with the Indo-Pacific, and that without resilient health systems in the region, our security and prosperity are at stake,” he said.