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The Week in Headlines

UHC Forward's Weekly Roundup of Headlines from Around the Globe

Week of June 17, 2013 - Governments around the world are engaging in serious political and technical discussions on how to expand health coverage. Still others are considering such reforms, but are struggling to navigate the legal, financial, and political frameworks of their countries to determine the best path towards universal health coverage (UHC).

Below is a list of UHC-related headlines from around the world. If you are viewing this on the web and would prefer to receive The Week in Headlines in your inbox every week, subscribe to the email edition.


Promoting universal financial protection: The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO has supported case-studies in seven low –and middle- income countries (Costa Rica, Georgia, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania and Thailand – countries at very different stages of the transition to universal health coverage) and has produced a thematic series entitled “Promoting universal financial protection” that provides useful insights and lessons for other LMICs seeking to move towards universal coverage.

Health financing for universal coverage and health system performance: concepts and implications for policy: This paper by the World Health Organization's Joseph Kutzin unpacks the definition of health financing for universal coverage as used in the World Health Organization’s World health report 2010 to show how UHC embodies specific health system goals and intermediate objectives and, broadly, how health financing reforms can influence these.

Scaling Up Affordable Health Insurance: Staying the course: This book takes the reader on a fascinating historical and global voyage of the pivotal role that health insurance played in expanding access to health care and protecting households from the impoverishing effects of illness from the late 19th to early 21st centuries.

Global strategy for universal health coverage: Robert Marten from The Rockefeller Foundation recaps a recent meeting during the 2013 World Health Assembly focused on planning a global strategy for embedding universal health coverage within the post-2015 development agenda



Azerbaijan creates a new model of compulsory health insurance: partnership between state and insurers: Finance Minister Samir Sharifov has stated that there is appropriate legal framework to activate the compulsory health insurance. "It’s time to use compulsory health insurance in everyday life, as in recent years, as a result of implemented social and economic policy, the health infrastructure has greatly improved. We can already start the process of active application of insurance principles in this area," the minister said.


Impact of Ethiopian pilot community-based health insurance scheme on health-care utilisation: a household panel data analysis: In recent years, there has been a proliferation of community-based health insurance (CBHI) schemes designed to provide financial protection against the costs of health care and expand access to modern health-care services to the informal and rural sectors. In 2011, a pilot CBHI scheme was introduced in Ethiopia. This study aims to rigorously evaluate the effect of the scheme on access to health-care services and financial protection.


Health the main focus this week: Minister of health Dr. Fenton Ferguson has been testing public opinion on the future of the current no user fees policy since assuming office in January 2012. During the week's sectoral debate, the spotlight was on hospital user fees and, even more importantly, universal health coverage.

Philippines, The

New law provides PhilHealth coverage to all: President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday signed into law a bill ensuring PhilHealth coverage to all Filipinos, including indigents and persons with disabilities.


Prescription for reform: Southeast Asian countries need to spend more to improve health care services, increase accessibility and reform the industry to approach global standards, say experts in health care finance.

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