(All Africa) - It is a common argument that health is everything and without it, no development can take place. It is also a common saying that the wealth of a nation highly depends on the health of its citizenry. Thus, it is fitting to state that health is one of those indispensable sectors that determine the progress of any nation. Cognizant of these realities, the Jammeh Administration has since its birth in 1994 been consistent in prioritising the sector and continues to invest colossal sums of money into it as a way of modernising it and meeting the demands and expectations of the fast growing population.
Through its Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other development partners, the Revolutionary government has been relentless in its efforts to achieving "Universal Quality Health Coverage for All in The Gambia".
(The Guardian Nigeria) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nation International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have reported significant progress in their quest for universal health coverage with more than 111 million infants receiving vaccines in 2013 to protect them from deadly diseases.
According to new estimates released yesterday by the UN agencies, these infants account for about 84 per cent of the world’s children, but an estimated 21.8 million infants remained unvaccinated.
The estimates tell a success story for the Expanded Programme on Immunisation, namely that global coverage with vaccines, measured by the proportion of kids who received three doses of vaccines containing diphtheria tetanus-pertussis (DTP3), rose from 73 per cent in 2000 to 84 per cent in 2013, a substantial increase.
According to the statement, the numbers still fall short of the goal set out in the Global Vaccine Action Plan, which was endorsed by the World Health Assembly in 2012.
(Caribbean Life) - The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says countries of the Americas, including the Caribbean, are holding national consultations to discuss the way forward to reach universal health coverage.
With its support, PAHO said national health authorities and other health sector actors are participating in the dialogues, which will help shape a regional roadmap for achieving universal health coverage that will be submitted for the approval of the 53rd PAHO Directing Council in September.
Consultations have already been held in 27 countries and are scheduled to be held in four others in the coming weeks, PAHO said.
“Universal health coverage is a means to attain health and well-being for all people. It is based on the right of every person to enjoy optimal health, with equity and solidarity, and it is responsibility of all governments,” said PAHO Dominican-born director Carissa F.
(The Guardian Nigeria) - WITH as little as N250 weekly premium (N1,000 monthly and N12,000 yearly), mobile subscribers will have access to standard and convenient health insurance cover on a pre-paid basis and could choose their Health Management Organisations (HMOs) and retainer hospitals, using their mobile phones for a range of pre-defined medical treatments.
Infant, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), MTN Nigeria and Salt & Einstein MTS said that Nigerians on MTN network could subscribe to the scheme by simply dialing *616 #. However, there are plans to engage Airtel Nigeria, Glo and Etisalat in the scheme.
The group officially rolled out a pilot mobile health insurance Monday in Lagos, tagged Y’ello Health, even as NHIS said that only about 5.2 million Nigerians are presently covered. NHIS Executive Secretary, Dr.
(Leadership Nigeria) - The Lagos State House of Assembly is presently fine-tuning a bill that will create a sustainable insurance scheme for both private and public sectors in the state.
The bill is coming at a time when the state public institutions are becoming increasingly overwhelmed and incapable of providing such services for which they were established.
Disclosing this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP, the chairman, House Committee On Health, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hodewu Suru Avoseh, said the state public health institutions are in dire need of restructuring and rehabilitation.
Avoseh decried the growing population of the state which is putting much pressure on public institutions and infrastructure.
Giving insight on the bill, the chairman explained that it has a lot to provide for the establishment of the Lagos State Contributory Health Scheme and that will also institute the Lagos State Contributory Health Scheme for all residents of the state.
(The Straits Times) - In spite of phenomenally impressive gross domestic product growth since 1965, most Singaporeans have been troubled by the inadequacy of financial coverage for health and retirement.
Fortunately, universal health coverage will finally begin by the end of next year. This leaves us to reform some aspects of the pension system. Since 1955, the pension system in Singapore has consisted of compulsory Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings.
CPF is a work-based scheme and therefore excludes anyone who may never have been in the workforce, such as housewives, the disabled and the pioneer generation of women who worked in home-based industries and were not paid.
In most developed countries, retirement schemes are usually multi-pronged. However, in Singapore, we depend on a single-tier retirement financing system of mandatory savings during working years. This is not fair to women.
(Business World Online) - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released some P35 billion for the health insurance coverage of poor households throughout the country, it said on Sunday.
In a statement, DBM said the P35.3 billion released will be the government’s subsidy for health benefits of indigent families enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) or PhilHealth.
The amount covers the health insurance premiums of a total of 14,706,524 household beneficiaries that have been identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) for January to December this year.
“Bringing universal health insurance is still a priority in the Aquino administration’s reform campaign. Central to our health agenda in the country is ensuring that the poorest have access to quality medical and health services,” Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” B.
(Bangkok Post) - One thing has to be made clear about the country’s universal coverage healthcare programme. It is not a populist policy. Access to healthcare services is a basic human right. It is also an essential public welfare system that saves lives and rescues people from bankruptcy after incurring expensive health expenses.
In our society marked by an ocean-wide income gap, universal healthcare is also an important tool to help bridge disparity and prevent political instability from public discontent. It is mind-boggling, therefore, that the bigwigs in the Public Health Ministry don't seem to get this.
The ministry is under heavy fire this week following news reports about its effort to convince the military junta that the co-payments of medical costs by patients is necessary to prevent the universal coverage healthcare scheme from going bankrupt in the near future.
(Business Day) - For the umpteenth time, out-of-pocket payment for medicare constitutes over 90 percent of private spending of Nigerians.
(Jamaica Observer) - MINISTER of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson said Jamaica has already taken several steps toward achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) for the population.
"The transformation of the health sector that is taking place right now is in line with our UHC goals. I want to make it clear that this process will not be completed overnight.