May 24, 2018
Readout of Secretary Azar’s Final Day of Participation at the 2018 World Health Assembly
Today, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar began his final day of participation at the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) delivering remarks at the Geneva Press Club at an event sponsored by Global Health Council, Living Goods, IntraHealth International, and Frontline Health Workers Coalition focused on diverse pathways to “universal health coverage.” He highlighted that every nation is unique and that avenues to making healthcare accessible to citizens will differ and often include a mix of public and private systems with the private sector in many cases able to provide more responsive services with greater efficiencies. He emphasized that a key focus in this conversation needs to be strengthening primary health systems. He laid out four areas of emphasis vital to empowering patients in the drive toward a value-based transformation in America’s healthcare system: greater control and interoperability of health information technology; enhanced transparency around price and quality; the use of experimental models to focus on driving value throughout the system; and the elimination of government barriers to change and transformation.
Secretary Azar concluded his participation at the WHA with a bilateral meeting with public health officials from Taiwan. During his remarks earlier in the week before a plenary session of the WHA, the Secretary expressed disappointment that representatives of Taiwan had not been invited to observe the WHA, saying “it is difficult to reconcile our shared concern over cross-border infectious diseases with excluding representatives of the 23 million people of Taiwan from this gathering.”