(News 24 Nigeria) - The Minister of State for Health, Dr.
(Center for Global Development) - This week the World Health Organization held a major international meeting on universal health coverage (UHC), with Director General Margaret Chan reaffirming her regard for universal coverage “as the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.” While the term “universal” signals that the entire population will be “covered,” an unanswered question is: covered with what? Another way to put the question: What health benefits or interventions would represent coverage, taking into account UHC’s implicit goals of improved health, equity and financial protection?
Many countries answer this question through the establishment of explicit health benefits plans. Better health benefits plans specify that at least a certain set of services and technologies will be financed and made available, and can sometimes indicate which services or technologies will not be funded and provided.
(The Atlantic) - Amidst the barrage of stories about failing states and civil wars that characterize the dour American media coverage of the developing world, the reinvention of Rwanda offers hope. Since the genocide with which its name is still synonymous in the United States, Rwanda has doubled its life expectancy and now offers a replicable model for delivery of high quality health care with limited resources.
Dr. Paul Farmer, Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Partners In Health, says that, "Rwanda has shown on a national level that you can break the cycle of poverty and disease."
**Rwanda retains 92 percent of patients in HIV care -- compared to 50 percent in the U.S**.
In the wake of the genocide that killed nearly one million people in 1994, such a turnaround seemed nearly impossible. Rwanda was a failed state mired in poverty and chaos.
(Devex) - The World Bank plans to launch a tool later this year to help countries work toward universal health care.
Universal health care coverage is said to be under consideration to become part of the post-2015 global development agenda. In December, the United Nations adopted a resolution on universal health care, a decision that advocates hailed as historic since it surprisingly won broad support from the global north and south.
The World Bank says it is now testing what it calls UNICAT, a tool meant to help countries evaluate their strengths and weaknesses as they work toward universal coverage.
(India Education Diary) - With a promise of access to cashless hospitalization for over thousand aliments for people living below poverty line and unorganized sector workers, Rashtriya Swasthaya Bima Yojana (RSBY) can be a game changer, said Mr. Anil Swarup, Director General for Labour Welfare said here today.
Mr. Swarup who is credited as the architect of the ambitious health insurance scheme was addressing a gathering of civil society organizations from across seven states.
“Enrolment in the scheme cannot be the only concern as the utilization of the provisions by poorest communities for whom the scheme exists is equally important. For RSBY to be truly successful, we need to make the communities aware about its benefits,” Mr.
WHO/World Bank convene ministerial meeting to discuss best practices for moving forward on universal health coverage
(WHO & The World Bank) - Top officials from health and finance ministries from 27 countries joined other high-level health and development stakeholders at a two-day meeting this week in Geneva to discuss ways that countries are progressing towards universal health coverage. The meeting was convened jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank and took place just weeks after the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution supporting universal health coverage.
Delegates at the Geneva meeting expressed strong support for the ideas underlying universal health coverage: that everyone, irrespective of their ability to pay, should have access to the health services they need, without putting their families at financial risk.
Many speakers stressed the importance of getting political commitment to universal health coverage at the highest level.
(Chimp Reports) - The Government has echoed its intention to undertake a compulsory Social Insurance Policy (SIP) to revamp the limited finance of health services in the country.
This is because Ministry of Health ranks last in all stakeholders financing health services to citizens with a maximum of less than 10 percent of the total expenditure on health.
The other funders are private sector, donors and households which contribute 43 percent.
Ministerial meeting on universal health coverage: Opening remarks at a WHO/World Bank ministerial-level meeting on universal health coverage
(The World Health Organization) - Excellencies, honourable ministers, colleagues from the World Bank, ladies and gentlemen,
The goal of moving towards universal health coverage is gaining support, sometimes very enthusiastic support, often very high-level support.
Since publication of the 2010 World health report on health system financing, more than 70 developing countries have requested WHO technical support for their plans to move towards universal coverage. The online edition of that report has been downloaded, either in summary or full-text version, more than 640 000 times.
Countries that have already reached the goal are sharing their experiences. They are singing some praises. But they are also making it clear: This is a struggle. It takes time. It takes unwavering political commitment at the highest level of government.
Last September, I participated in the launch of a Lancet series on universal health coverage.
(The Global Dispatch) - “I regard universal coverage as the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.” This is one of the statements made today by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of her opening remarks at a WHO/World Bank ministerial-level meeting on universal health coverage (UHC) in Geneva today.
Chan continues, “It is the best way to cement the health gains made during the previous decade. It operationalizes the highest ethical principles of public health.
(The World Bank) - As a growing number of countries tackle the fiscal challenge of providing universal health coverage (UHC) for their citizens, today the World Bank released a set of 22 case studies of countries that have significantly expanded access to health care in the last decade, with the aim of helping countries make more informed health policy and program choices.
Researchers looked systematically at countries’ experiences with a set of parameters related to achieving UHC, including designing and managing benefits packages, expanding coverage to the poorest and excluded populations, providing quality care, and health financing.