(News 24) - Successfully implementing a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme could take up to 25 years, the National Planning Commission said on Wednesday.
Building an NHI system is among the objectives contained in the revised National Development Plan (NDP), handed to President Jacob Zuma in the National Assembly.
The 20-year plan names four prerequisites for a NHI scheme to work.
Critical factors include "improving the quality of public healthcare, lowering the cost of private care, recruiting more professionals in both the public and private sectors, and developing health information systems that span public and private health providers".
The revised NDP says healthcare reforms will demand significant resources, and take time.
(Economic Times) - Chhattisgarh is set to become the first state to extend health insurance cover to all its unorganised sector workers, a step that will not only make healthcare accessible to all but also set a model for other states to follow.
The state has offered to pay the insurance premium from October 1 for all those not covered under the Centre's flagship health insurance scheme-the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna (RSBY). The labour ministry, which implements the scheme across the country, has accepted the proposal.
Launched in April 2008, RSBY aims to provide annual health insurance cover of 30,000 each to below poverty line (BPL) families and some categories of unorganised sector workers.
Chhattisgarh government's decision will ensure that the poor and needy, who do not have BPL cards or are not covered under the Employees State Insurance Act, are not ignored by RSBY.
(The Hindu) - Health activists are up in arms against the Planning Commission for its proposal in the 12th Five Year Plan documents that seeks to restructure the country’s health care system in a way that would effectively hand over health care to the corporate sector.
“It is particularly problematic that the Plan document to be adopted by the panel by the end of this month, invokes the concept of Universal Health Care, while it actually proposes a strategy that is far removed from the basic tenets of universal health care,’’ Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, a conglomerate of rights-based health activists said here on Wednesday.
Informatisation des mutuelles de santé: comment l’utilisation des technologies de l’information peut améliorer le recouvrement des cotisations dans les mutuelles de santé
(Cross-posted from the Health Harmonization in Africa Financial Access to Health Services Community of Practice) - Cheickna Toure, Executive Vice President Technical Union of Malian Mutuality UTM, describes the experience of Mali on the computerization of health organizations in attempting to answer the question, "how the use of technology information can improve the collection of contributions in mutual health?"
*Il y a un peu plus d’un an, le gouvernement du Mali adoptait une stratégie nationale d’extension de la couverture maladie par les mutuelles de santé au bout d’un processus qui a regroupé les parties prenantes à la question de l’assurance maladie (gouvernement, organisations mutualistes, structures d’encadrement technique, partenaires techniques et financiers,). A des moments particuliers, il eut des voyages d’études dans certains pays africains notamment au Rwanda pour bien appréhender les facteurs de réussite des expériences conduites et les écueils à éviter.
(Health Systems 20/20) - Health Systems 20/20 is pleased to release the 12th brief in the Better Health Systems – Strategies that Work series. It discusses the development of Mali’s new national community-based health insurance (CBHI) policy. Read the full brief.
For more than 20 years, community-based health insurance (CBHI) has been a component of the health financing system in Mali. Known as mutual health organizations, or mutuelles in French, CBHI schemes are not-for-profit mechanisms of health financing grounded in principles of solidarity and risk sharing. The first phase of the roll-out of the standardized national CBHI approach will include three of the eight regions in Mali (Sikasso, Ségou and Mopti).
(Oxford Journal: Health Policy and Planning) - The National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme was introduced in Ghana in 2004 as a pro-poor financing strategy aimed at removing financial barriers to health care and protecting all citizens from catastrophic health expenditures, which currently arise due to user fees and other direct payments. A comprehensive assessment of the financing and benefit incidence of health services in Ghana was undertaken. These analyses drew on secondary data from the Ghana Living Standards Survey (2005/2006) and from an additional household survey which collected data in 2008 in six districts covering the three main ecological zones of Ghana. Findings show that Ghana’s health care financing system is progressive, driven largely by the progressivity of taxes. The national health insurance levy (which is part of VAT) is mildly progressive while NHI contributions by the informal sector are regressive.
(Hindustan Times) - After providing cashless health insurance cover to below-poverty-line (BPL) indoor patients under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), Punjab will also implement the scheme in the OPD (out-patient department) as a pilot project in three districts.
The union ministry of labour and employment has given its nod to launch the scheme for OPD patients in Ferozepur, Bathinda and Rupnagar districts with effect from October 1.
The Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC), the nodal agency implementing the RSBY in the state, had submitted a plan last year to the Centre for covering OPD patients as well under the scheme.
The other states implementing the RSBY for OPD patients in one district each are Gujarat and Odisha.
The RSBY is a centrally-sponsored scheme providing cashless healthcare benefits to BPL families through a health insurance cover of up to Rs.
(Malaya Business Insight) - The fight for the reproductive health bill is far from finished. It is certain that discussions will continue not only on the controversial provisions opposed by the conservative Catholic hierarchy but also, perhaps even more importantly for poor Filipinos, on the broader topic of universal health care which is the stated theme of the present government’s health agenda.
The phrase “Universal Health Care” or UHC, a topic that has recently become a buzzword in health circles globally as health experts worry about the fact that large population groups in many countries, including the most powerful in the world, have inadequate access to good quality health care.
Here in the Philippines, we began serious discussions on this approach to health equity after the UP Centennial Lectures of 2008 revealed our health system’s sad record on equity.
(Economic Times) - Germany has sought India's help to provide social benefits to needy schoolchildren in a cost-effective way on the lines of the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, the smart-card based health insurance scheme that covers over 30 million poor households.
Next month, a German delegation will arrive in New Delhi to test an application based on the technology deployed in the RSBY. Germany, which has the world's oldest social security system, hopes to use this application to replace its present system of giving out social benefits to 2.5 million schoolchildren through paper vouchers, which entails high administrative costs.
The development was confirmed to ET by director-general of labour welfare and additional secretary Anil Swarup, who has been spearheading the RSBY scheme from the conceptual stage.
Ministry opposes plan to overhaul healthcare: The ministry has asked Planning Commission to rewrite its chapter on health in the 12th 5-year Plan document
(Livement.com & The Wall Street Journal) - The health ministry has opposed the Planning Commission’s proposal for a radical overhaul of the public healthcare system, saying it deviates from the government’s primary goal of providing health coverage to all.
The ministry has asked the apex planning body to rewrite its chapter on health in the 12th five-year Plan document that covers FY12-17, a top ministry official said, asking not to be identified.
Several of the commission’s suggestions contradict recommendations of the high level expert group (HLEG) on universal health coverage, or UHC, set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in October 2010 with the mandate of developing a framework on affordable healthcare for Indians, this official said.