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UHC Headlines from Around the Globe

Co-payment would deter doctor visits: poll

Country: 
Australia

(Brisbane Times) - A federal government move to charge an extra $6 for visiting a bulk-billing doctor would deter almost four in 10 people from booking an appointment, according to the latest budget poll.

The likely introduction of the co-payment would spark a strong voter reaction to a policy being seen as undermining universal health coverage, the Fairfax-ReachTEL survey found.

Around half the 3241 people who took part said they also want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make further cuts to his parental leave scheme.

The finding comes despite Mr Abbott cutting payments from a previous cap of $75,000 for mothers earning $150,000 a year to $50,000.

The poll also found 68 per cent of voters are against a proposed increase to the retirement age, although a deficit tax attracted support from 54 per cent.

The poll's co-payments finding was based on respondents being asked how they would react to a $6 payment for GP visits, with 39 per cent saying they would be less likely to

Nigeria: Ogun Commences Free Health Care for Pregnant Women, Others

Country: 
Nigeria

(All Africa) - Ogun State Government has launched free health care service in a scheme designed to provide financial protection against all ailments for pregnant women, children under-five years and the aged above 70 years in the state. The event tagged 1st phase of Community Health Insurance Scheme (ARAYA) and 2nd phase of Conditional cash Transfer (GBOMORO) was formally started by the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun in Abeokuta, the state capital. He noted that the scheme was designed to provide financial protection against all causes of illness and improving access to quality health services for those who are excluded from the formal insurance.

Launching the programme, Amosun said the project was in fulfillment of his administration's campaign promise and resolve to focus on health in the 2014 budget by devoting substantial part of the budget to health.

World Cup expected to boost Kalbe Farma’s sales this year

Country: 
Indonesia

(The Jakarta Post) - Pharmaceutical giant PT Kalbe Farma (KLBF) says that it is upbeat about business in 2014 as it expects World Cup-related events and the government-backed universal health coverage program to drive up sales.

The company’s consumer health division will be largely influenced by the world’s largest sports event, as people will seek stamina boosters to keep up with the matches, according to Kalbe corporate secretary Vidjongtius.

The consumer health division offers products such as energy drinks Extra Joss and Fatigon Hydro, as well as multivitamin Sakatonik.

“A special event like this [the World Cup] has always been positive for sales of our products,” Vidjongtius said.

Supported by the World Cup hype, Kalbe Farma estimates that the sales of its consumer health products will be 20 to 25 percent higher in 2014 compared to 2013.

Last year, the consumer health division recorded Rp 2.5 trillion (US$216.2 million) in sales, a 16.6 percent increase from a year

Universal health coverage: A solution for Namibia?

Country: 
Namibia

(New Era) - The Namibian Government recognizes health and social well being as a fundamental human right.

The Report of the Presidential Commission of Enquiry on the Health Sector states that given this fact, “the goal of Government is the attainment of a level of health and social well-being by all Namibians, which will enable them to lead economically and socially productive lives.”

This echoes the World Health Organization (WHO) constitution and the ‘Health for All’ agenda set by the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration which holds that “health is a fundamental human right and that the attainment of the highest possible level of health is a most important world-wide social goal.”

In accordance with the above, the Namibian Government has since independence prioritized the improvement of health provision to its citizens.

UN concerned over health care for BPL families

Country: 
India

(Business Standard) - A top United Nations official today expressed concerns over health care of families who fall below the poverty line in India.

"Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a high priority in India. We are particularly worried about families who fall below the poverty line, when someone falls ill and the family has to struggle to pay for health care," Lise Grande, United Nations Resident Coordinator, said at a UN-backed discussion which deliberated on India's route to UHC.

Nata Menabde, WHO Representative to India, highlighted the importance of substantially increasing the government expenditure on health in India which is one of the lowest in the world, at around one percent of GDP.

She commended the policy intent outlined by the Planning Commission to increase government spending on health to 1.87 percent of GDP by 2017.

Sustainable Healthcare Among Focus Of WEF on Africa

(Ventures Africa) – Sustainable healthcare and service delivery will be one of the key focuses at the World Economic Forum on Africa, which will take place this week in Abuja, Nigeria, from the 7th - 9th of May.

Participants together with key government representatives will address the following key challenges under the theme Health Systems Leapfrogging in Emerging Economies:

Universal Health Coverage and Health Financing: How to ensure funding for health for all by introducing affordable “leapfrogging” initiatives that can deliver high quality care at a lower cost.

Leadership & Governance: How to create an enabling environment of multiple stakeholders to deliver high quality healthcare.

Human Resources: Exploring innovative approaches for human resources for health training to address health needs and ensure quality care – this should be different for Africa and be unique.

Health Service Delivery: How to revitalize integrated service delivery towards e

How Tim Evans Will Lead World Bank Efforts Toward UHC

(Devex) - World Bank President Jim Kim has been building support to achieve universal health care by 2030, and wants the bank to play a major role in helping low-income countries achieve that goal. His right hand man in that effort is Tim Evans, who Kim brought on board last June as director of health, nutrition and population.

In April, after an exhaustive recruitment and selection process, Evans was chosen to be the new senior director of the health global practice starting July 1.

Evans’ appointment was welcomed by staff and observers in global health circles. A former colleague of Kim’s at the World Health Organization, Evans has more than 20 years of experience in international health at institutions like the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. In fact, Evans’ father, John Evans, was the first director of health programs at the World Bank. He was appointed in 1979 by Robert McNamara, the former U.S.

Waking Up to Universal Health Coverage in Kenya

Country: 
Kenya

(Management Sciences for Health) -

I felt like I had traded my mother’s health for my children’s schooling. It was a tough choice, and I cried every day.

This emotional remark was made by Lucy Njoki, a Kenyan mother and grandmother, at the Health for All Campaign Launch Event on April 28, 2014, in Nairobi. She had been forced to choose between paying for her children’s education or her mother’s urgently needed medical treatment. She could not afford both. Affordable and accessible health care remain an unrealized dream for many Kenyan citizens.

Unfortunately, Lucy’s story is not uncommon. Lucy represents millions of people who are pushed into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditures in Kenya.

US Health Care Firms to Boost Investment

Country: 
Turkey

(Daily Sabah) - Turkey is emerging as one of the world's success stories in the achievement of universal healthcare and expansion of the Turkish healthcare sector. With considerable potential for growth, it provides a vast number of investment opportunities for foreign investors.

In order to attract business opportunities and increase cooperation in the healthcare sector, officials from U.S. companies specializing in medical technology will visit Turkey this week.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Arun Kumar will lead 17 U.S. companies on a medical technologies trade mission to Turkey from May 4-8. Kumar and the delegation will visit Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir.

During the visit Kumar will meet with senior Turkish government officials and private sector associations to facilitate U.S. business opportunities in Turkey.

Nigeria: FG health insurance scheme to address health challenges of the vulnerable

Country: 
Nigeria

(World Stage News) - The Federal Government has assured that its health insurance scheme will address health challenges of the vulnerable in the society.

A statement signed by Mr. Ayo Osinlu, Head, Media and Public Relations Division, the Executive Secretary, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr.