The JLN Welcomes its Newest Members – Myanmar and Ukraine Sep 17, 2018

JLN Welcomes New Members: Myanmar and Ukraine

The Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN) welcomes Myanmar and Ukraine as its newest members, bringing the network’s total member countries to 33.

Both Ukraine and Myanmar come on board with strong commitment from their governments to achieving universal health coverage (UHC) in their countries.

Ukraine’s UHC Efforts and JLN Membership

For Ukraine, introducing a benefits package for all its residents is a major part of its UHC commitment, as stipulated by the government acts adopted in 2016-17. The vision is for all its residents to have access to medical services free of charge at the point of service delivery, along with reduced out-of-pocket expenditures on health and improved financial protection.

With a goal to develop the first benefits package by 2020, Ukraine’s membership request to join the JLN network was led by its Ministry of Health. The designing of the benefits package is tasked by the Ministry to a central executive authority, National Health Service of Ukraine, which will also be participating in the JLN.

Joining with prior interactions with the JLN, Ukraine’s Ministry of Health had benefited from the network’s Costing of Health Services for Provider Payment: A Practical Manual – a resource that exclusively guided the country’s initiative to standardize the cost of health care services. With no health reforms in 25 years, Ukraine hopes to gain practical experience from its peers in JLN countries, particularly, the development and implementation of health financing reforms that focus on tariff-setting, private health care, and the overall improvement and quality of health care.

Myanmar’s UHC Efforts and JLN Membership

For Myanmar, the government’s commitment and path to UHC is reflected in their National Health Plan 2017-2021, which aims to strengthen the country's health system. Myanmar hopes to provide access to a ‘Basic Essential Package of Health Services’ by 2020-21. The country also aims to tackle the financial hardship associated with out-of-pocket health costs through substantial investments by the public sector.

Myanmar’s application for JLN membership came from the National Health Plan Implementation Monitoring Unit (NIMU) within the Ministry of Health and Sports of Myanmar, the unit responsible for implementing the National Health Plan and monitoring its progress. Myanmar looks forward to establishing a coherent health financing strategy with lessons learned from the JLN members.

Along with NIMU, senior-level officials from Myanmar’s Social Security Board within the Ministry of Labor and the Department Public of Health will also be participating in the JLN.