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Members of the Regional Health Systems Governance Collaborative in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

A Milestone Towards Fostering Actionable Health Systems Governance in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

In the beautiful city of Beirut, Lebanon, a number of health systems experts and practitioners from the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) convened during the “Expert Consultation on Health Systems Governance Challenges to Advance towards UHC in the EMR” hosted by WHO EMRO on the 30th of October to the 1st of November, 2018, to exchange lessons learned in addressing regional health systems governance challenges and to create the “Regional Health Systems Governance Collaborative in EMR”.

The gathering was inaugurated by an opening speech from H.E. Professor Walid Ammar, Director General of the Ministry of Public Health in Lebanon, followed by a welcoming note from Dr Iman Shankiti, WHO Representative in Lebanon. Afterwards, participants introduced themselves and their interest in health systems governance in the EMR. This led to a rich discussion around the various aspects and definitions of health systems governance; hence the need to collaborate on operationalizing health systems governance, especially in the challenging EMR context.

Over the first couple of days, detailed interventions by participants and open discussions around the shifting health systems governance roles of the Ministry of Health and the various health systems governance approaches brought to the table the myriad of experiences and lessons learned from hands-on actionable health systems governance practices. The last day interventions highlighted the need for knowledge generation and intelligence as crucial elements of actionable “fit for purpose” health systems governance in the EMR. Such engaging climate throughout the three days set the stage for the subsequent consensus on the mission of the Regional Health Systems Governance Collaborative in EMR, and on the next steps the founding members of the Regional Collaborative are committed to in order to foster health systems governance transformation “moving from Theory to Practice” towards Universal Health Coverage in the EMR.

Follow the Regional Health Systems Governance Collaborative on Twitter @Governance_EMR.

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