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Washington D.C., 28 May, 2019 (PAHO/WHO) - Representatives of the Unit of Health Services and Access of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) participated in the technical meeting on "Universal health and the role of the private sector: regulatory challenges of the national health authorities," in Montevideo, Uruguay, together with technicians from several countries in the Region and from the Union of South American Nations.

"The private sector has a big role in many health systems and has grown a lot in the last two decades. There is a global consensus on the need to regulate the private sector to ensure that its participation is aligned with the objectives of universal health," said Ernesto Báscolo, Regional Advisor on Governance, Leadership, Policy, and Planning at PAHO.

During the meeting, Bascolo presented the analysis framework of private sector regulation, considering different types of emergency and private sector development in the countries of the Americas. The attendees analyzed the challenges presented by actors involved in regulatory agencies of the private sector, and agreed on key elements for a roadmap for monitoring and finalizing the assessment of regulation advances and challenges.

"In the Region, there are significant challenges in the regulation and control capacity over the private sector, which increasingly manages a mix of public and private resources, as it happens in Uruguay," said Báscolo. Regulation and control of the private sector seek to improve equity in access to health services. At the end of the meeting, participants discussed general guidelines for PAHO's technical cooperation to guide the functioning of the private sector towards the objectives of the Strategy on Universal Health.