About the Conference


Global Health Forum of Boao Forum for Asia

10-12 June 2019

Qingdao, China








         Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun
         President, Global Health Forum of Boao Forum for Asia
         Member, BFA Council of Advisors
         Director-General Emeritus, World Health Organization



Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun is Director-General Emeritus of the World Health Organization (WHO). As the 7th Director-General from January 2007 to June 2017, Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun led WHO through a period of profound changes.


The political, social, economic and epidemiological challenges facing health in the early 21st century have been unprecedented in their complexity and global impact. Population ageing, antimicrobial resistance, climate change, obesity, and the globalized marketing of unhealthy products and chronic non-communicable diseases overtook infectious diseases as the leading killers worldwide. The global economic slowdown since 2008 also affected populations around the world as many governments struggled to finance basic health services.


Despite these immense challenges, Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun’s leadership ensured sustained progress in improving health and life-expectancy in populations around the world. During her tenure, Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun led the global movement on “universal health coverage”, and the global response to major health emergencies like the influenza pandemic, Ebola and Zika epidemics. She has also transformed WHO into one of the most transparent and accountable international organizations by initiating an ambitious program of reform since 2011. As Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun frequently emphasized the importance of working in partnership with other stakeholders in society to achieve common goals in health.


Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun obtained her MSc and PhD degree in medicine and an honorary doctorate from the University of Western Canada.She later earned her MSc in public health at the National University of Singapore. She completed a program for management development at Harvard Business School in Boston. On 18 December 2018, Dr. Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun was honored by the Chinese government as a reform pioneer on the occasion of 40th anniversary of Reform and Opening Up in China.


Event Introduction


Nothing is more important than health. Public health is an important benchmark of a country’s sustainability and therefore a major topic on which the international community has a broad consensus.


On 25 October 2018, the Astana Declaration was adopted, committing member states of the World Health Organization strengthening primary healthcare and promoting the ambitious goal of health for all. As a non-governmental, non-profit international organization, Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) maintains an Asian Focus and an international perspective. While promoting economic cooperation, the BFA endeavors to promote the development and exchanges in the health related field. Based on full consultation with all parties, the BFA has decided to set up the Global Health Forum and hold its first conference in June 2019 in Qingdao, China, to garner international political will and consensus, pool wisdom and resources of the pharmaceutical and health industries, sharpen domestic and international focus on health issues, build a world class thought leadership platform, emphasize public health development as a pro bono, inclusive and innovative cause, fully tap the potential of the health market, actively promote exchanges and cooperation among government, academia and the business community, and jointly advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Why Hosting Global Health Forum


Is today’s world healthier than forty years ago?


In September 1978, representatives of 134 countries adopted the Alma-Ata Declaration at the International Conference on Primary Healthcare co-hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The landmark document sets the ambitious goal of "Health for All by 2000".


Thanks for advancing science and technology and sustained peace, the world has in the past forty years witnessed many major breakthroughs in the history of human life and health. Mankind successfully eradicated smallpox and lowered the mortality rate of children under five by over 50%. Since 1990, global average life expectancy has increased by seven years. Some developing countries, such as China, have leapfrogged in terms of basic medical insurance coverage, average life expectancy at birth and other main health indicators.


However, it is still not a time for us to celebrate. Global health investments are far from being sufficient. The planet is plagued by worsening environmental pollution and increasing extreme weather events. Populations suffer from frequent food safety incidents and inadequate basic healthcare facilities. Although people live longer on the whole, many have not been able to enjoy better health. Development of health is extremely unbalanced among and within countries. Neonatal mortality rate in some low-income countries is as high as twenty-seven per thousand live births. As some developed countries worry about the low efficiency of their health systems, emerging markets face the fatal challenges of hypertension, diabetes, malignant tumors and chronic non-communicable diseases. Half of the population in our world still have no access to basic health services. There is still a long way to go towards "Health for All".


Encouragingly, the world today and in the future will have more resources, capacity and will to address the problem. As China, India and other emerging economies grow, more wealth will be devoted to the health undertakings. With the global mobile Internet moving towards 5G, technologies and capabilities in the field of healthcare are also expected to increase. The thriving of new concepts, types of operations and business models such as telehealth, shared medical care, smart healthcare and cross-border health services facilitates a highly efficient and profound integration of the health and related industries, thus contributing to a sustainable symbiosis between public health policy and population health industrial chain for health and promoting further international cooperation.


On 25 October 2018, 197 WHO Member States gathered at the Global Conference on Primary Healthcare and unanimously adopted the Astana Declaration, vowing again to strengthen primary healthcare as an "important step" towards universal health coverage. The renewed global consensus and political will offer new opportunities for international cooperation.


As Chinese President Xi Jinping repeatedly pointed out, a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way will not be possible without a healthy population. China has published and implemented the Outline of the Plan for Healthy China 2030 and the Opinions on Promoting the Development of Internet plus Healthcare. These moves by China, the world's most populous nation and largest developing country, will promote the development of health undertakings at home, provide good opportunities for domestic players to participate in international health cooperation and explore a usable road map for the world towards universal health coverage.


In response to the spirit of the Astana Declaration, Boao Forum for Asia, a non-governmental and non-profit international organization, has decided on the basis of extensive consultation to set up a Global Health Forum (GHF). We aim to foster public will in the international community and seek innovative combinations of policy, business and technologies for public benefits. GHF is intended to be a long-term platform for health cooperation and exchanges among governments, industries, media and civil society jointly working for the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The GHF first conference will be held in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China in June 2019.


Why participating the Global Health Forum


As a thought leadership platform, Global Health Forum of Boao Forum for Asia will foster global public will and consensus, showcase technological, financial and business model innovations in healthcare and related industries, attract world attention and have a global influence. All stakeholders, including governments, international organizations, multinational corporations, non-profit organizations, experts, scholars and the general public, may take part in the GHF in various ways and join in concerted efforts for more better solutions to meet the challenges in health and social development.


First, GHF fosters public will and common understanding in the field of health at the international level. The GHF conference will be the first high-level international meeting on health after the 2008 Global Conference on Primary Healthcare. It will, in response to the Astana Declaration, push the UN, national governments and other actors in the international community to cultivate the will and consensus for health, encourage the engagement of and participation by all stakeholders in search of solutions combining public policy with commercial and technological innovations. The health-for-all agenda and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals will thus be advanced.


Second, GHF seeks result-based practical solutions. While engaging in public policy debates and discussions, it is also designed to promote combination of theory with practice by pooling wisdom, resources and attention. Hopefully more stakeholders will be encouraged and get involved in furthering integration across the medical, health, science and technology, finance, investment, education and pension industries. These could be new engine will for development and for higher standards of health.


Third, GHF gathers attention and influence for long-term development. Aided by the influence which Boao Forum for Asia has accumulated in the past years, GHF will grow into an important thought leadership platform for world health community through sustained, scientific, professional and targeted communications. It will not only enhance the voice and influence of China and other developing countries on the topic of "health for all" but also draw attention and support to healthcare reforms in these countries, thus contributing to the development of health and related industries.