ACCESS Health International’s Southeast Asia and India offices recently organized and hosted a summit titled ‘Financial Inclusion for Universal Health Coverage Summit – Blending Technology and Finance for Better Health’, along with the Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM). The full day event was held on October 18 at the IIRM Campus in Hyderabad and saw the participation of leaders from the health tech, fintech, insurance, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and social media platforms and telecommunications sectors, along with development partners and relevant government representatives

The summit witnessed insightful deliberations on the most pertinent issues in the delivery of care and uptake of insurance, through the finance and technology lens and on creating new partnerships, models, and solutions to support effective health service delivery and financing for the lower and lower-middle income segment. The discussion also focused on unaddressed priority areas for the low middle income including certain vulnerable target groups and the challenges faced with product design, distribution channels, affordable pricing, access, and scale.

The opening address was delivered by Mr. Suresh Mathur, Managing Director, IIRM while the keynote address was delivered by Dr. K. Madan Gopal, Senior Consultant Health, NITI Aayog. Ms. Sejal Mistry ACCESS Health International, Regional Director, Southeast Asia, set the context for the discussions. The closing remarks were delivered by Dr. Krishna Reddy, ACCESS Health International, Regional Director, South Asia. The two panel discussions from the day were titled “Affordable innovations in digital financial services for health” and “Charting pathways for distribution and scale of finance and technology solutions.”

In 2019, ACCESS Health International Southeast Asia, with support from MetLife Foundation, launched the Fintech for Health program with the objective to explore opportunities at the intersection of finance, technology and healthcare that enable patients to access quality healthcare more affordably and conveniently. Ultimately, the Fintech for Health program supports the tenets of universal health coverage, in its vision that all people can access affordable and quality care without suffering financial hardship, whereby public and private sector health systems are transparent and effective.

Over the last three years, the project has worked with numerous partners in the Asia region to make health services accessible and affordable for the lower and low-middle-income population. The project has undertaken knowledge creation and exchange on the application of fintech and insurance across the health ecosystem for various stakeholders including governments, providers, insurers, reinsurers, and startups.

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