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Financing Health Care in East Asia and the Pacific : Best Practices and Remaining Challenges


  • John C. Langenbrunner
  • Aparnaa Somanathan


This is an exciting time in East Asia and the Pacific region. No region will appear to be moving so rapidly. In this dynamic environment, many countries in the region have been approaching the World Bank requesting technical assistance and knowledge about health financing best practices and options. There is great interest in expanding knowledge sharing and learning from other East Asian and Pacific countries about their experiences in health financing. Moreover, some common issues appear to be emerging: universal insurance, options for financing health insurance, institutional setups of health financing options, provider payment mechanisms, equity considerations, ways to reach the poor and impoverished, and ways to meet the challenges of a changing demographics and epidemiologic profile. Under a generous grant from the Health, Nutrition, and population hub in the World Bank in fiscal year 2008, the region was requested to provide an overview of health financing systems in the region. This overview examined the different health financing mechanisms in terms of performance on dimensions of efficiency and equity and in terms of relative roles of government. In addition, the analysis was to identify, gaps in knowledge needing to be addressed strengthen and reform existing health financing mechanisms and thereby expand health coverage and benefits.

Suggested Citation

  • John C. Langenbrunner & Aparnaa Somanathan, 2011. "Financing Health Care in East Asia and the Pacific : Best Practices and Remaining Challenges," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 2321, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2321

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Milica Z. Bookman & Karla R. Bookman, 2007. "Medical Tourism in Developing Countries," Palgrave Macmillan Books, Palgrave Macmillan, number 978-0-230-60565-7, September.
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    1. World Bank, 2014. "Assessment of Health Financing Options : Papua New Guinea," World Bank Publications - Reports 21118, The World Bank Group.
    2. Annear, Peter Leslie & Kwon, Soonman & Lorenzoni, Luca & Duckett, Stephen & Huntington, Dale & Langenbrunner, John C. & Murakami, Yuki & Shon, Changwoo & Xu, Ke, 2018. "Pathways to DRG-based hospital payment systems in Japan, Korea, and Thailand," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 122(7), pages 707-713.
    3. Azad Singh Bali & M Ramesh, 2023. "Knowledge–practice gap in healthcare payments: the role of policy capacity," Policy and Society, Darryl S. Jarvis and M. Ramesh, vol. 42(3), pages 406-418.
    4. Ghulam Akhmat & Khalid Zaman & Tan Shukui & Yasir Javed & Shaina Khan, 2014. "Social Health Indicators and Economic Growth: Evidence from East Asia and Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 119(2), pages 663-686, November.

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