Global health diplomacy & International trade and health

Global health diplomacy

To effectively manage the major challenges in global health that affect health of the population requires national capacities in both health system delivery and global health diplomacy (GHD). Therefore, the Ministry of Public Health and Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a directive to have the national global health strategic framework (2016–2020) (GHS) approved by the Cabinet in 2016. The strategies aim to ensure health security for Thai people and to sustain and further strengthen global health capacity in Thailand. The GHD programme will generate evidence to guide effective implementation of the national GHS.

Global Health Diplomacy

Key issues

  • Lack of monitoring and evaluation systems for the GHS and important global health policies and international agreements
  • Lack of a comprehensive GH capacity development plan

Focus areas

  • Development of a monitoring and evaluation system for important global health policies and international agreements
  • Evidence generated for policy and trade negotiations towards coherent trade and health policies
  • GH capacity development

CCS deliverables

  • A situation analysis of the global health governance in Thailand
  • New GH governance mechanism and governing structures
  • Functional monitoring and evaluation system for important global health policies and international agreements
  • GH tools, guidelines, standard operating procedures for engaging in GH mechanisms

Impact

Coherent trade and health policies leading to improved health outcomes

Lead agencies

Bureau of International Health, Office of the Permanent Secretary

WHO will contribute and add value by:

  • Providing direct financial and technical input for programme implementation, including normative support, technical consultations and experts
  • Facilitating engagement with WHO, international organizations and other key GH players

International trade and health (GHD subprogramme)

With the increase of regional and bilateral trade, the direction of trade agreements and policies has changed, and concern on the impact on health is increasing. The focus of international trade has shifted towards new trade issues such as intellectual property, government procurement, competitive laws, labour, environment and state-owned enterprises. The scope of trade is not only confined to export and import of goods and services but expanded to cover systems or situations that are related to trade such as access to technology/medicine and medicine pricing systems. Balancing international trade and health is now receiving higher attention at the global and national policy levels. For example, Sustainable Development Goal 3.b focuses on TRIPS flexibility to ensure access to affordable essential medicine; and at the country level, the Thailand Global Health Strategy includes international trade policy that balances trade and health benefits as one of the key issues of the Strategy. Apart from being a member of a multilateral WTO trade agreement, Thailand has signed 12 regional and bilateral free trade agreements and is in the process of negotiation for another five agreements and interested in participating in the Transpacific Partnership (TPP). Optimizing the benefits from these trade agreements while minimizing health impact, even possibly with health benefits, are the main concerns.

International Trade and Health

Key issues

  • Ensuring inclusive and stronger collaboration for balanced trade policy where the health concerns are taken into account when developing trade policy trade; hence a need for trade and health policy coherence
  • Generating timely and concrete evidence to support the formulation of trade policy taking into account health aspects and concerns
  • Supporting the role of agencies such as MoPH in the International Economic Policy Committee, the International Trade Development Committee and for public education

CCS deliverables

  • Concrete and timely evidence to support international trade policy decisions and preparedness
  • International trade and health information clearinghouse accessible by networks and general public
  • Strengthened capacities for knowledge generation and policy advocacy
  • Strong networks and collaboration with partners and stakeholders to enable better knowledge generation and participatory trade negation process where health is of concern

Impact

Evidence-based and participatory policy decisions and trade negotiation process towards coherent trade and health policies for positive health outcomes

Lead agencies

International Health Policy Programme, Office of the Permanent Secretary

WHO will contribute and add value by:

  • Providing direct financial and technical inputs for programme implementation, including normative support, technical consultations and generation of evidence to inform policy
  • Facilitating the sharing of experience from other countries and institutions
  • Supporting the governance structure of the ITH programme
  • Facilitating intercountry networking to support the work of ITH
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