Addressing Challenges in Health Technology Assessment Institutionalization for Furtherance of Universal Health Coverage Through South-South Knowledge Exchange: Lessons From Bhutan, Kenya, Thailand, and Zambia
Kim T, Sharma M, Teerawattananon Y, Oh C, Ong L, Hangoma P, Adhikari D, Pempa P, Kairu A, Orangi S, Dabak SV
Value Health Reg Issues. 2021;24
Health Technology Assessment (HTA), a tool for priority setting, has emerged as a means of ensuring the sustainability of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) system. However, setting up an effective HTA system poses multiple challenges and knowledge exchange can play a crucial role in helping countries achieve their UHC targets. This article reports the results of the discussion during a preconference session at the 2019 HTAsiaLink Conference, an annual gathering of HTA agencies in Asia, which supports knowledge transfer and exchange among HTA practitioners. As part of this discourse, 3 main HTA challenges were identified based on experiences of selected countries in Asia and Africa, namely Bhutan, Kenya, Thailand, and Zambia: availability of funding, building technical capacity, and achieving buy-in among stakeholders for successful translation of HTA research into UHC policy. The potential solutions identified through this South-South engagement included establishing a legal mandate for HTA, building local technical capacity through partnerships and enhancing strategic communication with stakeholders to increase awareness, among others. South-South Knowledge Exchange can therefore be instrumental in sharing lessons learned from common challenges and offer potential solutions to address capacity building initiatives for HTA in LMICs.