About the event

IAPO’s Asia-Pacific Patients Congress is our 2019 regional event which will bring together the patient movement in the Asia-Pacific region. The Congress aims to bring together patient experts and health stakeholders including researchers, nurses, health financiers, regulators, health service providers and pharmaceutical industry representatives in Taiwan to map out how we can all harmonise and align our agendas with national health policies and plans on Universal Health Coverage in the region.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is high on the global health agenda and this past year has seen several global mobilising moments and calls to action. Yet progress to date has been slow and mixed; many low- and middle-income countries are not on track to meet their commitments to the UHC2030 agenda, according to a recent World Bank report.

This congress is therefore an opportunity for all of us to take stock of progress, acknowledge challenges, and reflect on the road ahead. Please join us as we come together to ensure that there is sufficient availability of promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative healthcare services and medicines that meet the international guidelines and standards of quality, safety, accessibility, acceptability and affordability in the Asia-Pacific region.

It is also an opportunity for IAPO to promote its mission to help build patient-centered healthcare across the region and to encourage the formation of national alliances of patient groups.

The Congress is organized by IAPO and co-delivered by its regional members the Psoriasis Association of Taiwan (PAT) and the Taiwan Alliance of Patient Organizations (TAPO).


Event themes

  • Discussions on improving access to healthcare and the role of patient groups in advancing Universal Health Care (UHC) and the introduction of HTA into healthcare systems
  • Capacity building of patient organizations including networking
  • Specific sessions on areas of interest such as patient advocacy, public policy including health economics, stakeholder engagement, regulatory policy including patient-focused drug development, clinical trial participation, patient safety, communications and organizational development such as resource mobilization and volunteering



(Please note that the programme is subject to change, and will be updated continuously up to the congress.)

DAY 1 - Wednesday 13 November 2019








Introduction and opening remarks

Kawaldip Sehmi, CEO, IAPO

Dr Ratna Devi, Chair IAPO

Ya Hsin Wang, Board Member IAPO



Keynote Speech: Evolving Role of Patients in Healthcare Ecosystems 

Shih-Chung Chen, Minister of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


Opening plenary: Universal Health Coverage as a driver of equity, inclusive growth and regional prosperity from the lens of healthcare financing

Moderator:Prof ChiliangYang, Taiwan Alliance of Patient Organisations 


Dr. Ratna Devi, IAPO & DakshamA Health

Ya Hsin Wang, IAPO & Taiwan Alliance of Patient Organisations 

Prof. Ming-Chin Yang, Institute of Health Policy and Management,College of public health, National Taiwan University


Patient Involvement in Health Technology Assessment

Speaker: Prof. Ann Single,Chair Patient and Citizen Involvement interest group

Discussant: Prof. Jasmine Pwu, co-chair of HTAi  & Director of National Hepatitis C program office, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan






Panel Discssion: Patient advocacy in Asia: Where is it now and where is it going?

Moderator: Neda Milevska, IAPO & Studiorum


Karen Villanueva, IAPO & Philippine Alliance of Patients Organizations 

Yukiko Nishimura, ASrid

Won-young Jang, Korea Blood Disease and Cancer Association.

Dr Lanka Jayasuriya Dissanayake, The Professional Society for Health Economics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR)







                      Breakout Sessions


Disruptive technologies in Asia-Pacific Universal Health Coverage(UHC) 

Can the Asia-Pacific Region transform global UHC models through innovative disruptive technologies?

Irmi Gallameier, Roche

Kawaldip Sehmi, IAPO 


HTA and Health Economics 

Patient role in HTA and Health Economics: Are we missing ‘economic consideration’ of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) and Patient Reported Experience (PREMs)

Dr. Po-Chang Lee - NHIA Ministry of Health and Welfare Taiwan

Dr Li-Yin Huang - Division of HTA, Taiwan CDE

Harry Yi-Mou Ko -Psoriasis Association Taiwan & Secretary General of PsorAsia in IFPA 


Patient engagement in research, regulation and UHC economics in the region

Prof. Hsiang-Wen Lin, College of Pharmacy Vice Dean, China Medical University School of Pharmacy

Dr. Michelle Vichnin, Executive Director, Global Patient Advocacy and Alliances, MSD

Shou-Mei Wu, Director General ,FDA Taiwan

Tracy Chan and Ivan Tan, National Stroke Association of Malaysia



3.50pm - 4.30pm

Public Policy

Role of patients in extending UHC in covering new populations, introducing innovative services and reducing out-of-pocket expenses

Orajitt Bumrungskulswat, Heart to Heart Foundation

Margaret Chang, Hope Foundation Taiwan


Discussions on Asia-Pacific regional survey: Patients perceptions on access   

Feedback and Takeaways





DAY 2 Thursday, 14 November 2019






IAPO Annual General Meeting  


Recap of Day 1 and Agenda Day 2


Opening plenary: IAPO Strategy and Plans for the Region 

Moderator:Kawaldip Sehmi, IAPO


Dr. Ratna Devi, IAPO & DakshamA Health

Neda Milevska-Kostova, IAPO & Centre for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation “Studiorum”

Ellos Lodzeni, IAPO & Patient and Community Welfare Foundation of Malawi

10.30am-11.00am COFFEE BREAK



Plenary Session: Patient Engagement in UHC Innovation and industry best practices 

Lasse Jacobsen - LEO Pharma (Patient Education and involvement in R&D)

Michael Alzona - MSD (Building Capacities of Patients for Advocacy)

Kylie Park - Amgen (Alliance building for  patient engagement in UHC innovation)

Dr. Kannan Subramaniam - Upjohn Pfizer (Physician and service provider training programs)







                Breakout Sessions


In-depth case studies on patient led UHC best practices

Patient advocacy and the Universal Health Care Law - Fatima Lorenzo, President, Philippine Alliance of Patients' Organisations

Patient Shouting Cafes - Gi-jong An, President, Korea Alliance of Patients’ Organizations

Self-Care in Type 1 Diabetes and impact upon UHC –opportunities and challenges, Dr. Apoorva Gomber

Fundraising and Investment

Patient organizations striking a balance between investing in service delivery and patient support, and policy advocacy and development- what should we raise money for and invest in?

Gloria Lin, Chairman, Taiwan Association of Cancer Patients

Dr. Yumiko Mochizuki, Japan Cancer Society

Guo Jiang Xu, Executive Director, Taiwan Elderly and Long Term Care Social Work Association








                    Breakout Sessions


Communications and Patient Advocacy in UHC 

The choice of message, messenger and medium: Who and how do we tell our story, and how do we tell it well?

Dr. Ying-Wei Wang, Director General, Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare Taiwan

Karen Villanueva, IAPO & Philippine Alliance of Patients Organizations 

Prof. Liu Mei-Jun, Director, Taiwan Healthcare Reform Foundation. 


Patient Safety - Way forward post World Patient Safety Day


Ellos Lodzeni, IAPO & Patient and Community Welfare Foundation of Malawi

Fatima Lorenzo, Philippine Alliance of Patients' Organisations 

Kawaldip Sehmi, IAPO




Close of Day 2




Venue and Accommodation

Our Congress is planned in the amazing island nation of Taiwan nestled in the middle of the ocean off the coast of Mainland China. It is so unique because of its history and a number of unique cultural factors.

The event will be held at the Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel, No 12, Sec 1, Zhongxiao East Road, Zhongzheng District Taipei City, Taiwan 10049.

IAPO has reserved a block of rooms under the name International Alliance of Patients' Organizations for all delegates to be accommodated at the Sheraton Grand Taipei Hotel at a special discounted rate.

Please note that delegates are responsible for their own hotel reservations and that after 5th November, the special rate will not apply and reservations will be considerably more expensive and subject to availability since our meeting time is in the peak season.


Event Sponsors: 

Platinum Sponsor