(Jakarta Post) - For businesses, the pitfalls of a miscalculated universal health coverage program are not limited to higher costs, but are also linked to disruptions in the way certain industries operate.
The new healthcare system, which will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2014, is the first implementation of the government’s Social Security Providers (BPJS) program, aimed at providing life insurance to all Indonesians.
While confusion reigned over the absence of sufficient implementing regulations, businesses have anticipated soaring production costs by as much as 20 percent as they must cover every worker with health insurance, according to the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo).
“It’s less than four months away but there’s still uncertainty over the exact additional costs businesses will have to bear,” said Apindo chairman Sofjan Wanandi recently.
(Business World Online) - THE PHILIPPINE Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) has released the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the measure providing universal health care to Filipinos.
The IRR came three months after President Benigno S. C. Aquino III signed in June Republic Act (RA) 10606 which amended RA 8785 or the National Health Insurance Act of 2013.
The measure requires mandatory membership in PhilHealth and insurance coverage has been expanded to include the informal sector, persons with disabilities (PWD), migrant workers, household helpers and indigents.
(The Jakarta Post) - The government’s universal healthcare coverage program is only three months away from its effective implementation scheduled for Jan. 1, 2014, the same year the country will hold its general election.
However, the government has yet to finalize key parts of the far-reaching program, which will also impact companies and their businesses.
Okky Asokawati, a member of the House of Representatives’ Commission IX overseeing health, said the government had to pass at least eight decrees on the implementation of the 2011 Social Security Providers (BPJS) Law, which mandates two forms of social coverage.
(Huffington Post) - Thirty years ago, I was a young physician practicing family medicine in rural Talihina, Oklahoma. We saw unusual cases, including snakebites and a man who survived a gunshot through the heart. But what I loved most was delivering babies - bringing new lives into the world and great joy to parents. Sadly, my most vivid memory from those years is of a baby girl who didn't make it. Her parents, first-time pregnant, didn't recognize the warning signs. When they reached the hospital, our team was too slow. Too late.
Around the world, 6.6 million kids under 5 die each year - more than 90 times the capacity of the Superdome. The vast majority of these deaths are preventable. The Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000 as the world's report card on international development through 2015, have catalyzed progress and helped save millions of children's lives. But most developing countries won't meet the MDG target of a two-thirds reduction in childhood mortality.
Community health workers can accelerate progress towards universal health coverage in sub-Saharan Africa
xIn January this year, a team of doctors, community health workers (CHWs), and volunteers took part in medical outreach in poor neighbourhoods in Lagos, Nigeria. The CHWs helped to mobilize the people, provided basic health education, and screened participants for diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Almost a quarter of participants had either diabetes mellitus or hypertension. One out of ten needed urgent medical attention; they were referred to nearby general hospital for further care. It was a rewarding experience for me to see how much CHWs can contribute in taking health care to the doorsteps of those who need it most but could not afford it.
Poverty is predominantly a rural phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 60% of the population lives in rural areas. The cost of illness drives many people to deeper levels of poverty. More than 200 million people live in extreme poverty in the region and are in dire need of affordable quality health services.
(The Guardian Nigeria) - THE Federal Government has directed the new board of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to move quickly towards achieving the presidential target of ensuring at least 30 per cent universal health coverage in the next two years.
Minister of Health, Prof.
(Citifm Online) - The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) has unveiled a new brand to consolidate the changing phase of the NHIS with the hope to refurbish the image of the Scheme and mark the program’s next chapter of growth.
Chief Executive of the NHIA, Sylvester A. Mensah, in a speech at the launch of the 10th anniversary commemoration of the NHIS remarked that “the backdrop of organisational restructuring, growth of the Scheme and international recognition , embody the changing identity of the NHIS.”
He recounted that “back in 2003, it was a newly born baby with great promise.
(Investing in Health) - As a newcomer in my new post in Accra, I am starting to learn about Ghana’s achievements and challenges. I have been impressed with some innovative policies and measures adopted to address difficult development challenges in the social sectors.
This week the country is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). This scheme is mandatory for all residents and largely funded from general tax revenues and a specifically levied ad valorem tax* on goods and services. The enrolled beneficiaries are entitled to receive a broad package of services covering 95% of the disease burden.
(Ghana Web) - At a meeting in Addis recently, officials of the Federal Ministry of Health gave glowing accounts of a recent visit to understudy Ghana’s globally acclaimed health insurance scheme. After ten years of dynamic implementation , it is fitting that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) is in the next two months rolling out activities and opening up conversations to take stock, recognize achievements and challenges and chart new paths forward. The theme for the tenth anniversary celebration is “Towards Universal Health Coverage: Increasing Enrolment whilst Ensuring Sustainability.”
At independence Ghana had aspirations for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) under Nkrumah’s free healthcare program. In 1971, Dr Felix Konotey Ahulu is reported to have made proposals for the introduction of an insurance scheme leading to the enactment of the Hospital Fee Act 387 of 1971 under the Busia administration. The PNDC government in 1985 then extended an invitation to one Mr.
(Daily Trust) - It was refreshing to read the 168 pages World Health Report "Research for Universal Health Coverage" which provides useful case studies that underpin the relevance of research in shaping health system and most importantly the right to health to all citizens.
The report summarized its three key messages as follows:
"Universal health coverage, with full access to high-quality services for health promotion, prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, palliation and financial risk protection, cannot be achieved without evidence from research. Research has the power to address a wide range of questions about how we can reach universal coverage, providing answers to improve human health, well-being and development.
All nations should be producers of research as well as consumers.