Myanmar has set a target of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030 and has made progress towards this goal. The National Health Plan (2017-2021) was a key policy document of the former Ministry of Health and Sports. The plan has identified several critical areas that need attention to achieve UHC, including financial protection, strengthening the health workforce, and improving the township health system.
Defining the essential package of health services, improving primary healthcare infrastructure and engaging communities are positive steps towards improving health service delivery. The mobilization of resources for health and the integration of health programs within broader development agendas indicate a comprehensive approach to UHC in Myanmar. Another strength is the focus on financial protection to promote equitable access to health. The government has recognized the need to increase spending on health to reduce out-of-pocket expenditures and has decentralized health workforce allocation decision-making to states/regions.
However, there are still weaknesses that need to be addressed. Healthcare infrastructure in rural areas is limited, which hinders equitable access to services. Myanmar needs sustained investments in health systems, workforce development, and technological integration for UHC initiatives to scale up. Financial constraints and insufficient budget allocations for health could further impede progress towards UHC. A multi-faceted strategy involving increased funding, targeted capacity building, and innovative solutions is required to enhance healthcare accessibility, especially in underserved regions.
To make UHC work effectively in Myanmar, there must be a focus on strengthening health governance, improving data systems for better decision-making, and fostering partnerships with international organizations and stakeholders. Emphasizing preventive and primary healthcare measures, along with robust community participation, can enhance the preventive aspect of healthcare, reducing the burden on the system.