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(Event Report) 2015 Global Health Summer Program

(Event Report) 2015 Global Health Summer Program
Each year, HGPI’s Global Health Summer Program (GHSP) gathers university students and young professionals in global health related fields, such as medicine and public health, and presents global health issues from a new perspective encouraging participants to think critically about their role and responsibility as future global health leaders. This year, HGPI coordinated the 2015 Global Health Summer Program, Journey to Sustainability: Lessons on Health ICT from Thailand (Co-sponsored by the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund)).

The use of technology to share information and collect data has enormous potential to impact the sustainability of Japan’s health care system. As Japan works to implement health care ICT, understanding how ICT is implemented, evaluated, and adjusted in other health systems is critical. To contribute to this effort, the 2015 GHSP focused on health care ICT and sustainability. GHSP participants had the chance to learn from Japanese health policy experts about the challenges and strengths of Japan’s health care system. The program also focused on Thailand’s health care ICT system, where health data is collected and analyzed through a central system. Participants then traveled to Thailand, where they visited Thailand’s health data center and observed how Thailand is working to address the challenges that arise at the data center and in health facilities.*

Participants, working in teams and using information gathered through lectures and fieldwork, then created a policy recommendation on how Japan can build a secure and stable health care ICT system in Japan. This recommendation was presented to a group of policy experts and stakeholders. The team with the strongest recommendation presented a formal policy recommendation.

The goal of this program is to support the growth of health policy professionals who are able to think globally while contributing to health issues both in Japan and abroad. To support this goal, the main language of the program was English.

Key components
*Program contains English lectures.
Program in Tokyo
・Lectures from health policy experts on Japanese health policy
・Lecture on Thai health system
・Design thinking workshop
・Skills building using English
・Mentoring prior to presentation session
Fieldwork in Thailand
・Meetings with local stake holders and a visit to the National Health Security Office (NHSO) data center and call center
・Visit a rural health center (Kanchanaburi Province)
・Homestay in local community (Kanchanaburi Province)
・Presentations from GHSP participants to Thai officials on the challenges to health ICT in Japan
Policy proposal
・Policy proposal writing workshop
・Using information gained through research, meetings, and fieldwork, the participants worked in groups to create a policy proposal to support development of health ICT in Japan.
・Participants presented proposals to policy experts and other stakeholders including senior staff of GHIT Fund and HGPI. Winning team had the chance to present proposal at a different venue.

September 6, 2015 to September 15, 2015

9/6-9/8/2015: Orientation and skills training (Tokyo, Japan) featuring a design thinking workshop and lectures by Japan’s top global health leaders
9/9-9/13/2015: Fieldwork (Bangkok, Thailand) including meetings with local medical workers, NGOs and community stakeholders
9/14/2015: Presentation preparation session (Tokyo, Japan)
9/15/2015: Final meeting and presentations (Tokyo, Japan)
10/28/2015: Winning team made final presentation (Tokyo, Japan)

Tokyo meetings:
JICA Global Plaza
Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS)
Bangkok and Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand

12 young professionals or university and graduate level students in the fields of medicine, public policy, international affairs, public health, and other areas of global health.

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI)
Global Health and Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT)

Anne Smith
Health and Global Policy Institute
1-11-28 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo  100-0014  Japan
Tel: +81-(0)3-5511-8521    E-mail:

* Why Thailand?
In Thailand, the proportion of those 65 and older is projected to reach 20% by 2024. Over the past few years, the Thai government, which established universal health coverage in 2002, has been working to make their system more efficient and responsive through the use of health ICT. Today, everyone over the age of 7 is issued a National ID card that links important data, such as health, tax, and driver’s license information. Health-related data, such as information about doctor’s visits and treatments, is downloaded daily from hospital servers to a national database housed at Thailand’s National Health Security Office (NHSO), which oversees Thailand’s universal health insurance scheme. Using this data, NHSO assesses health needs, delivery, access, and service utilization. While Thailand continues to face various development and political challenges, its health ICT system is rich with policy lessons.

Exhibition date:2015-09-06

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