Welcome Message

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Singapore is hosting the first World Health Summit (WHS), Regional Meeting – Asia, Singapore 2013 (WHSRMA) from April 8th – 10th, where a select audience will discuss health care issues and their impact on sustainable development in the region. The event will be opened by Singapore’s Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong.

Health is intrinsically linked to the well-being of societies, and maintaining a healthy Asia will be beneficial to all in the region and the world. Yet, today’s Asia faces challenges such as rapidly aging populations, climate change, increasing incidence of chronic non-communicable diseases and the recurring threat of global pandemics. Asia’s need for affordable and accessible health care also encompasses many challenges that coalesce around the question of financing. Against this backdrop, an Asian meeting of the WHS in 2013 will be an excellent opportunity for reaching out to Health Ministers and senior government officials from the region as well as many global health care leaders who will be attending this landmark meeting, thereby allowing us to develop innovative solutions to Asia’s current and future health care problems.

The theme of the WHSRMA is "Health for Sustainable Development in Asia", with four sub-themes:

  • The Impact of Health on Asian Economies
  • Financing Health Care in Asia
  • Innovations in Health in Asia
  • Emerging Health Threats in Asia

Located at the crossroads of Asia, Singapore is a cosmopolitan city easily accessible from anywhere in the world.  From many Asian capital cities, the distance to Singapore falls within a seven-hour flying radius. Singapore has been the venue for several international meetings, including the recently concluded 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health and the World Cities Summit, as well as other notable meetings such as the International Monetary Fund-World Bank Group Annual Meeting in 2006. We are honoured to be an appropriate focal point to share best practices on issues relevant to the region and the world.

We warmly invite you to participate in the WHSRMA to help shape the health care landscape for many years to come.

With warmest regards,

Professor John Eu-Li Wong
President, World Health Summit 2013
Co-chairman, WHSRMA 2013 Organizing Committee
Vice Provost (Academic Medicine), National University of Singapore


The following speakers are invited to speak at the World Health Summit Regional Meeting - Asia, Singapore 2013:

Opening Address by

Mr. Lee Hsien Loong
Prime Minister of Singapore

Keynote Speakers

Prof. K. Srinath Reddy
President, Institute of Public Health of India, India

Dr. Mary-Claire King
American Cancer Society Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, USA

Prof. William Hsiao
K.T. Li Professor of Economics Department of Health Policy and Management and Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health, USA

Ms. Laurie Garrett
Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations, USA

Dr. Richard Horton
Editor-in-chief, The Lancet, UK

Prof. Peter Piot
Director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK

Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasert
Senior Adviser for Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand


The World Health Summit, Regional Meeting - Asia, Singapore 2013 will take place at the hotel "The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore".

Venue Address:
The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore
7 Raffles Avenue, Singapore 039799


The World Health Summit Regional Meeting – Asia (WHSRMA) 2013 will approach these topics with four different tracks, present in each day's program structure:

  • The Impact of Health on Asian Economies
  • Innovations in Health in Asia
  • Financing Health Care in Asia
  • Emerging Health Threats in Asia

1. The Impact of Health on Asian Economies

Asia is experiencing the rapid changes of globalization and modernization. Consequently, health and disease patterns also change over time in Asia’s societies. Asian societies are undergoing a “life cycle” in which infectious diseases and nutritional deficiencies dominate rural societies, whereas in the ‘grown-up’ and ‘urbanized’ societies, non-communicable diseases have become more prevalent. Health and health care considerations need to be part of all government policies, but how can this be achieved? How do we develop and prioritize sustainable strategies to promote health in response to this rapid pace of change?

Modernization has also resulted in migration of workers, thus perpetuating and exacerbating inequity in health care systems. How do we urge governments and international organizations to develop policies in ameliorating brain drain? How will these policies ensure a sustainable health workforce?

A relatively new form of medical tourism, where patients travel out of their home country to private facilities catering to international patients, is growing quickly. Because of lower costs and availability of good quality care, medical tourism has the potential of generating economic benefits for some nations in Asia. The range of social and economic consequences and benefits of medical tourism in Asia have to be carefully considered and will be discussed at this Summit.

2. Innovations in Health in Asia

Advances in life sciences as well as in information and communication technologies have significant impact on the way people live, work, think and behave in Asia. Clinicians should be encouraged to actively incorporate genomics, epigenomics, bioinformatics and point of care diagnostics into their practice. Just as importantly, health care providers and policy makers should leverage on these technologies to share information and streamline processes, so that patients can receive the best possible access to health care.

In tandem with rapid advances in life sciences, health care costs are rising in Asia. In addition, sometimes poor regulatory frameworks for drugs and medical devices, as well as lack of harmonization, are inhibiting rapid development of needed medicines and devices in Asia. Taking these into consideration, presentations will be made at this Summit to discuss how (business) innovations should be made affordable, accessible and focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.

Also at the Summit, we will discuss how to promote and encourage out-of-the-box frugal innovations, social entrepreneurship, and innovative philanthropy to make health care available to everyone. Strategies to urge governments to improve national regulatory capacity and work towards regional harmonization of regulatory processes will also be covered.

3. Financing Health Care in Asia

Systems of health care coverage are quite diverse in Asia. For instance, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand provide health care coverage for the entire population. However, in other countries, individuals from low-income groups face great barriers to health care. Often, those who are financially well-off have greater access to medical care, whereas the poor cannot afford to pay and even give up treatment. How do we make health care accessible to everyone?

Given the potential destabilizing effect of weak health systems to the region, how do we advocate wealthier nations in the region to utilize their external development aid to help poorer countries strengthen their health care delivery systems? While market failures continue to exist in both availability and access to needed medicines, how can we urge the private and public sectors in both developed and developing countries to work together to make medicines more affordable and accessible to those in greatest need and with the least power to pay?

4. Emerging Health Threats in Asia

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are on the rise in Asia. Malnutrition and infection in early life can increase the risk of such NCDs in adulthood. Maternal and early childhood health and nutrition are intricately linked to the long term health of individuals. Investment in maternal and early child health should be undertaken with the view of improving the long term well-being of nations. NCDs are also exacerbated by changing lifestyles secondary to globalization and urbanization, as well as tobacco use and sedentary lifestyles. The aging population cannot be ignored. What are the challenges to combat NCDs in Asia? Can we encourage a whole government-whole population approach to fight NCDs in Asia?

Rapid urbanization can result in socio-economic changes that will make mental health issues more pressing. Mental disorders increase the risk for NCDs and injuries, whereas many health conditions increase the risk for mental disorders. How can we urge governments to be proactive in responding to these and other health threats?

The risks of new diseases such as SARS, bird flu and swine flu are increased by globalization and by creating “hot spots” in the environment that bring humans, livestock and wildlife into contact. There is also the continued threat of emerging infectious diseases caused by deforestation and the resulting increased contact between humans and wild animals. What can the government and society do to combat these to ensure continued biosecurity?

Satellite Events

We are happy to announce that several Satellite Meetings will accompany the World Health Summit Regional Meeting - Asia 2013. The following events will supplement the thematic radius of the WHSRMA:

“Understanding Local and International Health Care Policy”

International and local health care policies play an important role in building the needed infrastructure for sustainable development to take place, which is what this meeting will focus on. Speakers from well established and prestigious organizations for example the World Health Organization will be the invited; this represents an opportunity to bounce ideas off them and hear their views about health care policy.

Designed to be an interactive session, the workshops will constantly keep you on your toes and hopefully give you greater insights into health care policy decision making. Student projects about health care policy will be presented as well, and in the social program a tour around the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine!

This workshop is designed for anyone and everyone - ranging from students to doctors to allied health professionals.

"Infectious Diseases in Asia"

The burden of infectious diseases has increased dramatically due to globalization and health care practices, among other factors. The recent surge in influenza and dengue makes management and resource allocation challenging and likely requires a multi-disciplinary approach.

This workshop has been specially designed for local and overseas infectious disease practitioners, researchers, policy analysts, policy makers, and all health care administrators. It will provide an open platform to discuss pressing issues on emerging and persistent infectious diseases. Presentations from international experts will focus on health policy and strategies to confront these issues, and a round table discussion will facilitate active participation from all participants.

Speakers: Prof. David Heymann, London School of Hygiene &Tropical Medicine (UK)
A/Prof. Paul Anantharajah Tambyah, National University Hospital (Singapore)
Dr. Hsu Li Yang, National University Hospital (Singapore)
Dr. Suwit Wibulpolprasert, Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health (Thailand), Prof. Richard Coker, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore (Singapore)
A/Prof. Ng Lee Ching, Environmental Health Institute, National Envinromental Agency (Singapore)
Prof. Simon Hay, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (UK)

Moderation: Dr. David Lye, Senior Consultant, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore

"Improving Mental Health of the Population  – an Asian Perspective"

Mental disorders are among the most common causes of disability. Poor mental health impedes an individual’s capacity to realize their potential, work productively, and make a contribution to their community, while positive mental health is linked to a range of beneficial outcomes and is fundamental to coping with adversity.

To improve mental health and lessen the burden of disease, mental health services must be provided in ways which are proactive and can effectively impact on relevant factors at both population and individual levels.

This one-day symposium is focused on innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to improving mental health. Participants will learn about the state of mental health and approaches to improve it from leading mental health professionals and researchers. Break-out sessions focusing on specific areas such as child and geriatric mental health and cost of mental health delivery will be discussed in small groups using case-studies. The venue of the workshop – Singapore’s only tertiary psychiatric hospital – offers participants an opportunity to see first-hand, tertiary facilities to support mental health recovery.

Speaker: Prof. Parminder Raina, Raymond and Margaret Labarge Chair in Optimal Aging, Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
A/Prof. Chong Siow Ann, Vice Chairman, Medical Board (Research), Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Prof. Anthony Francis Jorm, Professorial Fellow, ORYGEN Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr. Alan Ong, Deputy Director (Community Mental Health), Community Mental Health Branch, Primary and Community Care Division, Ministry of Health, Singapore

"IAMP Young Physician Leaders Program 2013"

The IAMP Young Physician Leaders Program is a satellite meeting which will take place from April 8th-10th, 2013. Together with the M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers and Medical Universities in Asia, the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) will select 10 outstanding young physician leaders from nominations by IAMP member academies in Asia and by member institutions of the “M8 Alliance”.

Articulated in two parts, a specific leadership development workshop on April 8th will be followed by participation as special guests at the regional World Health Summit, which will provide an outstanding scientific and policy program and networking opportunities with a global group of medical and scientific professionals, government officials, business leaders and health related organizations. This regional program follows the success of global Young Physician Leaders sessions in Berlin in 2011 and 2012. Selected candidates will be provided with mentorship opportunities with IAMP members and with designees of the nominating academies, and will join a unique alumnus of Young Physician Leaders worldwide for mutual support and peer mentorship.

Eligible physicians for the Young Physician Leadership Program are under 40 years of age, have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in clinical medicine, medical education, public health or health policy and show significant promise for leadership in their fields in the future.

Speaker: Prof Looi Lai Meng (IAMP)

“Decision Modeling in Health Care: A Hands-on Workshop”

The purpose of this 2-day workshop is to develop skills in the construction and evaluation of decision analytic models for health care.  The workshop will alternate between short didactic sessions followed by hands-on development of a model in TreeAge software. The following topics will be covered:

  • Branch and node decision trees
  • Basic Sensitivity Analysis
  • Basic Cost Effectiveness Analysis
  • Including Quality of Life (QALYs)
  • State Transition (Markov) Models
  • Advanced Sensitivity Analysis (Probabilistic Sensitivity Analysis)
  • Dealing with complexity: Individual Microsimulation
  • Cost-effectiveness Acceptability Curves
  • Value of Information Analysis

Participants must have a current version of TreeAge Pro on a laptop computer to use during the workshop. 

A free demo version of the software is available from TreeAge.

Speaker: Dr. Mark Roberts, Professor and Chair of Health Policy and Management, University of Pittsburg, USA

Workshop on "Theory of Constraints"

The Theory of Constraints (TOC) was developed by the late Eli Goldratt as an approach to improving systems and identifying and implementing change. Three steps are required: 1) deciding what to change, 2) what to change to, and 3) how to implement the change. The underlying principle is to find the constraint or limiting step in the system. A variety of tools help from building a model of current reality,  using a conflict resolution diagram to evaporate the constraint (often by making "pigs fly"), building a model of future reality (taking care to minimize negative branches or unintended consequences of the change), mapping out a step by step transition process, and identifying and resolving various layers of resistance. Beyond its application to manufacturing, it has been applied to service industries, education, and most relevantly to medicine. This 3 hour course will introduce the basic concepts and application models with a focus on medicine, public health and health care systems. Laptop based simulations will be used to illustrate problems and the effect of solutions in the inpatient, outpatient and public health settings. The objective of the course is to whet the attendees’ interest and begin them on a life- long quest to a process of ongoing improvement.

Speaker: Dr. Stephen Pauker, Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, USA

“Symposium on Building Models to Inform Aging Policy: Getting it Right Before Time Runs Out”

This Symposium focuses on the useful application of models in the context of aging policy.  We will highlight exemplars of modeling efforts related to issues such as long-term care planning and innovation in the care of individuals with chronic disease.  We will consider the potential for modeling to simultaneously promote multiple perspectives: medical, social, economic.  Questions to be addressed will include: 

  • What is the state of contemporary model application in health care?
  • In which situations have models been especially useful?
  • How can stakeholders be best engaged in the model building process?
  • What is the role of models in identifying research priorities and contributing to the “learning health system”?

The Symposium is designed for academics, researchers, health care professionals and policy makers, who are faced with or investigate complex problems that evolve over a period of time. They will be exposed to different modeling techniques and illustrations of how these techniques can be used to gain insight and promote communications.

Speakers: Dr. David Matchar, Dr. Kelvin Tan, Dr. Angelique Chan, Dr. Mary Ann Tsao, Dr. Hayden Boswort, Dr. Mark Roberts, Dr. Alex Cook, Dr. Peter Hovmand, Dr. John Pastor, Dr. David Lane, Dr. Jack Homer, Dr. Bobby Milstein