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UHC Headlines from Around the Globe

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.

Press Release: Commonwealth Health Ministers Meeting 2014 - Ministerial Statement

(All Africa) - Commonwealth Health Ministers held their annual Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on the eve of the 67th World Health Assembly. The theme of the meeting was 'Commonwealth Post-2015 Health Agenda: Strengthening Health Policies and Systems'.

Ministers noted that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had significant impact in positioning health in the development agenda and in galvanising multi-stakeholder partnerships. They acknowledged the significant progress in reducing under-five and maternal mortality, increasing immunization coverage and increased access to HIV and TB treatment, including availability of affordable antiretrovirals.

Ministers, however, noted that many countries may not achieve the health-related MDGs by 2015, especially MDGs 4, 5 and 6.

Thailand as a global leader in health

Country: 
Thailand

(The Bangkok Post) - Every year, around this week each May, thousands of country delegates and health experts convene at the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) World Health Assembly in Geneva.

Among these global health experts, Thailand holds special status. Though not a large country, nor a particularly wealthy country, when it comes to providing care for its citizens Thailand is both global eader and role model for neighbouring Asean countries attempting to expand universal health coverage (UHC). Looking back at Thailand’s health reform history, a set of key lessons can be drawn.

Four decades ago, Thailand chose to invest wisely in health when it was still a low income country. It prioritised developing human resources such as medical doctors and particularly, nurses and community health workers. In the 1980s, it bucked a global trend to build new, shiny hospitals, focusing instead on increasing the number of rural primary facilities.

S Korea extends support to draft health insurance policy

Country: 
South Korea

(The Himalayan Times) - The South Korean government has extended a support of USD 4.5 million to the Government of Nepal for draft of a health insurance policy.

Finance Secretary Yuba Raj Bhusal and the Korean Ambassador to Nepal Choe Yong-jin signed an agreement to that end today.

The project aims to contribute to achieving universal health coverage through providing technical support for the preparation of the National Health Insurance Scheme as well as support in enhancing the capacity of relevant stakeholders in health insurance sector, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) said in a statement today.

Bahrain participates in Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers Forum

Country: 
Bahrain

(Bahrain News Agency) – The Kingdom of Bahrain participated in the Government Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers Forum on 5-17 May 2014, at the invitation of the World Health Organization, with the participation of more than 52 countries and a number of international organizations involved in health and nursing, and also took part in the nursing leadership meetings on 16-17 November 2014.

Head of Nursing of the Primary Care and Public Health, Nahid Al-Awadhi, represented Bahrain in the event.

The Forum, which was held under the theme "nursing and midwifery workforce and universal health coverage," focused on health leadership effectiveness of nursing workforce and readiness in work environment, and discussed nursing and midwifery with the consideration for the universal health coverage.