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UHC Headlines from Around the Globe

WHO D-G Supportive Of Malaysia's Health Development Agenda

(Bernama) - World Health Organisation (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan is very supportive of Malaysia's health development agenda.

In a statement here Friday, the Malaysian Health Ministry said its minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam and Chan had addressed the three-day World Health Assembly which was held in Geneva, beginning May 19, on the topic, Universal Health Coverage.

It said Malaysia would do more collaborative work with WHO and create more opportunities for staff exchanges.

During the assembly, Dr Subramaniam also had high level meetings with health ministers and delegations from around the world such as New Zealand, Japan, Bangladesh, Fiji and Solomon Islands

Various health issues were discussed, including non-communicable diseases, autism, aging population, experience and technical exchange and doctor training.

Sustained effort required for universal health coverage

Country: 
India

(Deccan Herald) - The director general of World Health Organisation (WHO) Margaret Chan firmly believes that Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is ‘the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.’

UHC entails that ‘all people have access to needed promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that people do not suffer financial hardship when paying for these services’.

In India, the biggest manifestation of problems in the current system of healthcare financing is the number of people who incur high out of pocket (OOP) expenditure on health that often leads to impoverishment.

There is a rather small portion of the population covered by contributory schemes, benefiting mostly those in the formal employment sector.

World Health Organization Assembly Covers Variety of Health Topics: 20 New Resolutions

(Science World Report) - On Saturday the World Health Organization concluded the 67th World Health Assembly that adopted more than 20 resolutions regarding public health issues of global importance with the support of nearly 3,500 delegates.

The latest global plan covers a myriad of health issues that have been on the forefront of the WHO's agenda recently. Topics ranging from antimicrobial resistance to violence to universal health coverage consumed the assembly's list of challenges to confront. The assembly also declared issues that will be presented at next year's meeting to potentially be approved by then.

"This has been an intense Health Assembly, with a record-breaking number of agenda items, documents and resolutions, and nearly 3 500 registered delegates," said Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO's Director-General in this news release.

With MediShield Life launch, removing claim cap beneficial, says Gan

Country: 
Singapore

(Today Online) — Removing the cap on claims when MediShield Life is rolled out next year will be beneficial, particularly to those who are nearing the existing S$300,000 limit, such as some kidney dialysis patients, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday.

In reiterating that premiums for the national insurance scheme, which will be expanded to lifelong and universal coverage, would be affordable for all, Mr Gan said lower-income Singaporeans would be means-tested, so those who need more support would get it.

“Through government subsidies, Medisave top-ups, as well as the 1 per cent additional Medisave contribution, we will make sure not only the high-income, but also the low-income Singaporeans, will be able to afford the MediShield Life premium,” he said.

The Government would provide financial assistance through schemes such as MediFund for “those who are not working, those who have retired, who are facing financial difficulties”, he added.

Chiu: Canada’s health care system could get a shot in the arm by studying Taiwan’s system

Country: 
Canada

(Calgary Herald) - Taiwan realized the goal of providing universal health care coverage by launching the National Health Insurance (NHI) program in 1995. Covering 99.9 per cent of the population, including prison inmates, the NHI gives patients access to care ranging from Western drugs and procedures to traditional Chinese medicine.

The initiative was ahead of its time, with the World Health Assembly (WHA) — the decision-making body of the World Health Organization — passing a resolution in 2005 that urges states to develop health financing systems as part of efforts providing universal health coverage.

Among other things, this resolution calls for universal health care systems to provide equal access to health resources.

Affordable Health Technology Assessment in Taiwan: A Model for Middle-Income Countries

Country: 
Taiwan

(SKNVibes) - Taiwan realized the goal of providing universal health care coverage by launching the National Health Insurance (NHI) program in 1995. Covering 99.9 percent of the population, including prison inmates, the NHI gives patients access to care ranging from Western drugs and procedures to traditional Chinese medicine. The initiative was ahead of its time, with the World Health Assembly (WHA)—the decision-making body of the World Health Organization—passing in 2005 resolution WHA58.33, which urges states to develop health financing systems as part of efforts providing universal health coverage.

Among other things, WHA58.33 calls for universal health care systems to provide equal access to health resources. Treatment must be affordable to all, and that puts pressure on health care systems to control costs. Taiwan began conducting health technology assessments (HTA) to determine the suitability of new drugs within the financial context of the NHI system in 2007.

Focus on health in post-2015 development agenda: Nasim

Country: 
Bangladesh

(bdnews24.com) - Bangladesh's health minister has called upon the global community to keep health at the centre of the next development goal framework.

Benefits for teachers? Not yet

Country: 
Cambodia

(The Phnom Penh Post) - The government has a response to teachers’ request for health insurance: We’ll provide it if you buy it.

At a meeting in Takeo province this past weekend, the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA) said an upcoming teacher strike would include health insurance on the list of demands in addition to the repeated call for a salary increase to $250 a month.

The Minister of Education yesterday suggested instead of striking for insurance, teachers could join a group plan through the ministry and pay $10 a month for coverage.

“We want teachers to have health insurance . . . and the ministry could implement it once a critical mass of teachers have signed up,” Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron said.

“We need to know what kind of coverage would best serve teachers and . . . assess whether enough teachers want to pay.

Korea pledges Rs 460 m grant for nat'l health insurance

Country: 
South Korea

(My Republica) - The Government of Korea is to provide a grant of 4.5 million US Dollar (approximately Rs. 460 million) to implement the national health insurance support project in different five districts.

Choe Yong-jin, South Korean Ambassador and Finance Secretary Yubaraj Bhusal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of their respective governments amidst a signing ceremony here on Monday.

The Korean Government, through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), will provide the grant until 2017 for this project.

Nigeria: Assent the NHB Now, CHAN Tells Jonathan

(All Africa) - THE Christian Health Association of Nigeria, CHAN, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to assent the2014 National Health Bill, and to ensure that CHAN and its member institutions are assigned definite roles with clear targets in contributing to the actualization ofits provisions.

Making the call in Abuja, CHAN Secretary General, Dr.