Southeast Asia for years has been well known for medical tourism, attracting upper-income patients from around the world to experience Oriental hospitality and advanced medical technology. The frontrunners include Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.
While foreign patients are treated well in luxurious hotel-like hospitals, millions of other Southeast Asians lack access to even minimum-standard health care. Countries in Southeast Asia have recognised this and are trying to remove these barriers.
(Impatient Optimists) - Every Thursday here on Impatient Optimists, you’ll find stories, written by one of the Frontline Health Workers Coalition’s 30 member organizations, about the inspiring work of health workers on the front lines of care in developing countries and how United States leadership can help ensure that everyone has access to basic care by skilled, supported and motivated frontline health workers.
Organizations involved in global health have had a lot to focus on during the past several weeks. The month of May saw the 66th session of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, as well as the release of the United Nations High Level Panel’s report on the post-2015 Development Goals.
(MyjoyOnline) - The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) would next year introduce a biometric registration and instant issuance of identification cards to subscribers.
Mr Sylvester Mensah, National Director of the NHIA, said the initiative would ensure efficiency and quality healthcare delivery.
He made this known in a speech read on his behalf at the inauguration of a regional administrative complex for the Authority in Sekondi on Friday.
The office complex comprised 11 offices, a board room, a scanning room, a security post and a kitchen.
Mr Mensah entreated the management and staff of the NHIA to work as a team and develop a culture of maintenance.
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which started in 2004 with about one million subscribers, had increased to more than eight million with more than 85 per cent of the population getting health care services.
The Deputy Western Regional Minister, Mr Alfred Ekow Gyan, said the NHIS is one sure way by wh
(Belgian Development Agency) - The official ceremony for the donation of medicines to the public health instances of the health district of Sokone (in the south of Senegal) was held on 3 April 2013. These medicines with a value of more than 23 million F CFA (36,000 euros) were offered under the Support to Healthcare Supply and Demand Programme (PAODES). It was the last step before the effective start of the subsidized lump-sum tariffs system. The health district of Sokone is the first to try out this new organisational and operational model. It will eventually be tested in five pilot districts and aims to develop and test a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) model at the country's scale.
In order to improve the state of health of the population of the five regions of the bassin arachidier (Diourbel, Fatick, Kaffrine, Kaolack, Thiès), PAODES aims to, among other things, setting up a lump-sum tariffs system.
Promoting universal financial protection: constraints and enabling factors in scaling-up coverage with social health insurance in Nigeria
The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in Nigeria was launched in 2005 as part of efforts by the federal government to achieve universal coverage using financial risk protection mechanisms. However, only 4% of the population, and mainly federal government employees, are currently covered by health insurance and this is primarily through the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme (FSSHIP) of the NHIS.
This study aimed to understand why different state (sub-national) governments decided whether or not to adopt the FSSHIP for their employees.
Methods: This study used a comparative case study approach.
(CitiFMOnline) - A 15-member delegation from Nigeria is in Ghana on a week-long study tour of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
(Center for Global Development) - In just five years, India’s Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY, translated as “National Health Insurance Programme”) has expanded health-care access. Where dozens of “microinsurance” and NGO pilots failed to scale up, RSBY has already provided more than 110 million people (almost 10 percent of India’s population) with heavily subsidized health insurance, providing up to US$550 annually to finance secondary hospital care. Although the research evidence on RSBY is still developing, early results are encouraging: increased utilization and hospitalization; some indication of reduced out-of-pocket payments for healthcare; and a means of identification with a clearly linked entitlement.
(The Express Tribune) - Addressing the 47th convocation of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPSP), Sharif said that this was his first public appearance as chief minister. It showed that he was committed to health care and health education in the province, he said.
Those who could not afford to pay for it would be given free medical treatment under the health insurance scheme. “This is a very tough task but it is possible,” he said. There were many problems with the health sector, he said.
Hospitals were not audited by independent experts and sanitation in hospitals remained an issue. “The Punjab government is already the best employer for doctors. We want to further improve the doctors’ salary packages, but then the performance should match the salaries,” said Sharif.
He congratulated the physicians and surgeons who had completed their fellowships. “Our doctors have set an example in tackling dengue fever,” he said.
(The Jakarta Globe) - The Jakarta government is canceling a plan to increase the budget for a public health insurance scheme, the city’s Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said on Tuesday, sparking concerns that hospitals will not be reimbursed for treatment.
Basuki said that the administration had previously planned to increase the budget for the Jakarta Health Card (KJS) program to Rp 50,000 ($5.10) per person per month, or Rp 2.4 trillion in total for 2013, but the allowance will instead stay at the current rate of Rp 23,000. This compares to the national government’s budget of Rp 15,000 per person per month.
Basuki said that even though the KJS budget will not increase, the government would still work to improve treatment for cardholders.
Hospitals have raised concerns that the limited budget could impact the government’s ability to pay claims, but Basuki said he is confident that the budget will cover 100 percent of the treatment costs.
I welcome all our readers with great excitement to this maiden edition of the African Health Economics and Policy Association newsletter. When we were preparing to set up our association, one of the key reasons we settled on the Af-HEA acronym was its close resemblance to the Swahili word for health, afya, which is also the word for health in several other African lan-guages. It seems therefore appropriate that our newslet-ter should be called Afya.
Afya will serve primarily to inform our members and our other stakeholders about Af-HEA and what it does. More broadly, and in time, it could also be a tool for information sharing and exchange among members, promoting relevant activities and notifying readers of upcoming conferences, workshops and other events.