(The Observer) - It was reported recently that the ministry of Health confirmed a shortage of vaccines for children across the country.
This comes shortly after the World Immunization Week. Unfortunately, statistics regarding immunisation in Uganda are not the most inspiring to read. A report released by Uganda National Academy of Science (UNAS) showed that Uganda’s immunisation coverage pales in comparison to her East African neighbours.
At 55%, Uganda has the lowest measles vaccination coverage against Kenya’s 86%. Rwanda’s coverage stands at 82% while that of Tanzania is at 92%. In an effort to address this gap and improve the situation in Uganda, President Museveni recently suggested that immunization should be compulsory.
(CitiFMOnline) - Health Minister, Sherry Ayitey has praised strides made by the NHIS in working to create equal access to healthcare for all residents in Ghana.
The minister said the times where only the rich could afford good healthcare is gone, stressing that, “money is no more an impediment to good health. All it takes is to join the NHIS.”
She stated that children, pregnant women and Ghanaians in general no longer have to die because they do not have money to pay for healthcare.
The minister was also impressed by measures instituted by the NHIA to enhance efficiency in managing the NHIS.
(The Indian Express) - The National Advisory Council, led by Sonia Gandhi, has endorsed most recommendations of the High Level Expert Group on Universal Health Coverage. These include contracting private healthcare providers to fill the gaps in coverage, setting up a National Health Regulatory and Development Authority to oversee quality of healthcare in public and private sectors and the urgent need to increase public healthcare spending.
"Allocations for health over the first two years of the 12th Plan — around Rs. 50,165 crore or an average of Rs. 25,000 crore a year - have not been encouraging. If the planned allocation of Rs 268,551 crore over the five-year period has to be fulfilled, this will require the government to allocate at least Rs. 70,000 crore a year over the next three years. While this may look an unreasonable jump for the ministry to absorb, this should not become the reason for the health sector to be starved," the NAC said.
(AllAfrica.com) - Members of Parliament have called for health insurance coverage for all Tanzanians, noting that the government should find ways of making the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) accessible to every Tanzanian, regardless of whether they are in the formal sector or not.
Debating budget estimates for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare here, the legislators decried weaknesses in the current distribution system of drugs and medical equipment and the scarcity of health workers, noting that a sure way of keeping Tanzanians safer was by enrolling all of them in the national health insurance scheme.
Contributing to the debate, Mrs Margaret Sitta (Special Seats - CCM) noted that enrolling all Tanzanians with the National Health Insurance Fund would go far in ensuring access of quality healthcare, singling out mothers and children who are some of the people who need to be kept safe.
She asked the government to fast-track review of the structure of the Medical
(CitifmOnline) - The Health Minister, Sherry Ayitey has maintained that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration would work to implement the one time premium for the National Health Insurance Scheme.
According to her, this would be done after enough resources have been pumped into the Scheme.
In an interview with Citi News Sherry Ayitey stated that the onetime premium remains a viable option in health care delivery in the country.
She noted that “although the scheme has been suspended after the stakeholder’s forum, when enough resources are made available to the scheme, it would be implemented.”
The NDC government has come under severe criticism for failing to implement the one time premium despite promising to do in the campaigns prior to the 2008 elections.
(The Times of India) - Dr Vikas Mahatme, who has recently taken the cause of revival of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY) or National Health Insurance Scheme for the benefit of unorganized sector workers, is now seeking support of the organizations in this sector. Various city organizations have threatened mass movement if the scheme was discontinued in state.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday Dr Mahatme reiterated the need for continuing the scheme. He said he and other organizations supporting the scheme were not against the state-run Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Arogya Yojna (RGJAY) but wanted the national scheme to run parallel national one as more diseases would be covered.
(Center for Global Development) - This is a joint post with Victoria Fan.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the results of “the Oregon experiment” based on the 2008 US Medicaid program expansion in Oregon. The study is one of very few randomized control trials on publicly-subsidized health insurance that exists to guide health policy, and found what some commentators considered a disappointing result: while health care utilization increased and households were protected from financial hardship, expanding Medicaid coverage had “no significant impact on measured physical health outcomes over a 2-year period.”
Should we be surprised? To date, there are few countries that have demonstrated a causal link between health insurance/coverage and physical health status using a randomized trial, and many of the studies that find a linkage used observational, or non-experimental, methods (see here and here for comprehensive reviews of the literature).
A Pilot Project Using Evidence-Based Clinical Pathways And Payment Reform In China’s Rural Hospitals Shows Early Success
(Health Affairs) - Reforming China’s public hospitals to curb widespread overtreatment and improve the quality and affordability of care has been the most challenging aspect of that nation’s ambitious health reform, which began in 2009. This article describes a pilot project under way in several of China’s provinces that combines payment reform with the implementation of evidence-based clinical pathways at a few hospitals serving rural areas. Results to date include reduced length-of-stay and prescription drug use and higher patient and provider satisfaction. These early results suggest that the pilot may be achieving its goals, which may have far-reaching and positive implications for China’s ongoing reform.
(Leadership) - The Senate in Abuja on Monday said it would take appropriate legislative actions to speed up the passage of the National Health Bill to ensure it got presidential assent on time.
The Senate President, Sen. David Mark, made the pledge at the public hearing on the bill.
Represented by Sen.
(National Mirror) - The Acting Executive Secretary, Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, Dr. Abdulrahman Sambo, at the weekend disclosed that only 4.3 per cent of Nigerians were covered by various health insurance programmes.
This is as the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has expressed dismay over the slow pace of the NHIS.
Sambo, who spoke in Abuja, put the total number of persons covered by the scheme across the country at a little over seven million, out of the over 160 million population.
He said: “Under the formal sector at the federal level, we have close to 2.7 million people. Earlier last year, it was 2.1 million. We were able to increase it to 2.7 million. It is slow because people haven’t presented themselves or take time to present themselves for registration.
“Under the organised private sector, we have well over a million. Currently, we have over seven million Nigerians covered in the various programmes.