Organized under the auspices of the ISSA Technical Commission on Medical Care and Sickness Insurance, a Seminar to discuss innovations and strategies to adapt social security health care systems to trends in chronic disease was held in Hammamet, Tunisia, from 7 to 8 December 2009 at the invitation of the Tunisian National Health Insurance Fund.
Discussions centred on strengthening health promotion, preventing the major risk factors for chronic diseases linked to changing lifestyles and the ageing population, and innovations to achieve better results in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality of care for patients with chronic conditions. Representatives from social security health care institutions in Austria, France, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Philippines, Thailand, and Tunisia presented national experiences with regard to these topics.
Speaking during the opening session, the Director of the ISSA Social Security Observatory, Mr. Yannick D’Haene, highlighted that the traditional financing role of social security institutions that administer health care systems is increasingly being complemented by a more pro-active role. The Chairperson of the Technical Commission on Medical Care and Sickness Insurance, Mr. Emanuel Humba (on the left in the picture above), stressed action must be taken to improve access to affordable care and strengthen financial protection in view of the double burden of communicable and non-communicable disease in developing countries.
The keynote speaker from the WHO, Ms. Janet Voute, presented the trends in non-communicable disease worldwide and a global strategy for their prevention and control, calling on social security institutions and the ISSA to become active partners in this strategy. Mr. Michele Cecchini (pictured) from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) presented data on the cost-effectiveness of various prevention measures.
The main results of a comparative study by the ISSA Technical Commission on Medical Care and Sickness Insurance on measures to adapt social security health systems in eight countries were also presented.