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UHC Headlines from Around the Globe

PhilHealth: Ensuring Healthcare Financing

The Philippines

(Opinion Inquirer) - We agree with Dr. Ernesto Domingo: Everyone should be enrolled in the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP). Anchored on the basic principle of social solidarity to ensure that all Filipinos are provided with health insurance coverage and are able to avail themselves of quality healthcare services, the NHIP advocates risk-sharing and pooling of resources for the benefit of all Filipinos. It is on this basic principle that the NHIP has been implemented over the last 19 years.

As in most progressive countries, the Philippines’ social health insurance program is a mix of tax-based and premium-based approaches to ensure sustainability. The tax-based component is the legislated appropriation of a significant portion of sin taxes for the annual premium contribution of the poorest segment of society.

Tablets vs. Paper: How the Philippines Halved the Cost of Healthcare Delivery

The Philippines

(Future Gov) - A project in the Philippines has reduced the cost of collecting healthcare information and delivering public health messages to the poorest families by almost half over five years, a university study has found. FutureGov caught up with Mary Rose Rontal, Health Innovations Programme Manager at ACCESS Health International-Philippines, to uncover the story behind the success of the project: e-Action for Universal Healthcare Coverage.

ACCESS, a non-profit think tank, has trained the government’s community health teams to collect health information on families using tablets, replacing paper forms which they had been using since 2011. The health workers can now use a mobile and web app to summarise the data collected and automatically generate reports.

Making Health Insurance Affordable to 'Average' Nigerians


(All Africa) - To make health care accessible and affordable to all Nigerians, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Bank and other experts recommend among other things: mandatory and publicly subsidized health insurance scheme even as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in partnership with MTN Nigeria and Salt & Einstein MTS have rolled out a cheap mobile scheme at a premium of N250 weekly.

Fifty year-old Mr. Joseph Akanji is married with five children: two girls, Sola and Kike; and three boys, Gboye, Wole and Rotimi, ages twelve, nine, seven, five and two.

Universal healthcare program a powerful social equalizer

The Philippines

(Business Inquirer) - A man knocks at the door of a loan shark because his wife is scheduled for the pricey C-section. Such a telenovela scene is not very far-fetched, and it could even be the case for the 100-millionth Filipino, born tomorrow.

Coincidentally, 100 million people worldwide are thrust into poverty yearly because of soaring medical bills. For the World Health Organization (WHO), the reason is there is no state mechanism to help these people.

It is this unfortunate statistic that universal healthcare (UHC) wants to address so people can get all the medical attention they need without fear of economic short-circuit. UHC is “a powerful social equalizer,” WHO director general Margaret Chan popularly said. It would provide services regardless of social class, and is thus “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.”

The local effort is through PhilHealth, which does not mince words with its UHC target.

Health and Social Welfare - a Key Priority of the Revolution


(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".

WHO, UNICEF Report 84% Immunisation Coverage

(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.

Universal Health Coverage Consultations

(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.

Nigerians can get health insurance with N250 premium


(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.

Lagos To Enact New Law On Health Insurance


(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.

Gender bias in CPF


(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.