The Week in Headlines

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

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 for the week of May 13, 2013. 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.



Money is no more an impediment to good health: Health Minister, Sherry Ayitey has praised strides made by the National Health Insurance Scheme in working to create equal access to health care for all residents in Ghana.


NHIS intensifies pressure on states to adopt health insurance: Despite its dream of securing universal coverage and access to adequate and affordable healthcare in order to improve the health status of Nigerians, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has yet to enjoy adequate support from state governments, says Acting Executive Secretary of NHIS, Dr. Abdulrahman Sambo.

Lagos charts path to universal access at health council meeting: The Lagos State government recently convened a state health council meeting to chart path to universal access in health care in the state. The meeting, of all stakeholders in the state health sector, was to provide quality service delivery for about 20 million Lagosians, through policy shift from out-of-pocket payment to a contributory or pre-payment mechanism.

Community-based approach for effective healthcare provision: Due to the poverty level in Nigeria today, health care services in both public and private hospitals have not been free, as many people find it difficult to pay medical bills for common diseases.This is why the present administration in the Ogun State, led by Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has established a Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS) in its bid to provide accessible, affordable and sustainable health care service delivery

South Africa

NHI is a reality says Motsoaledi: Speaking during his budget vote in the National Assembly‚ Motsoaledi said the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme had gone global‚ albeit by a different name -- Universal Health Coverage. "The World Health Organization‚ United Nations‚ the World Bank‚ [and] prestigious institutions of higher learning such as Harvard University have recently entered the debate in support of NHI giving well-researched guidance to countries on how to go about implementing this insurance and not to debate whether it is needed or not‚" he said.


NHSO delays UC co-payment talks: The National Health Security Office (NHSO) board cancelled a discussion on the proposed co-payment scheme for the Universal Healthcare Coverage scheme (UC) at its meeting yesterday amid opposition from activists.


Immunization and insurance: The Ministry of Health confirmed a shortage of vaccines for children across the country. A comprehensive education program stressing the importance of immunization would surely go a long way in creating an understanding of this life-saving practice. The proposed National Health Insurance Scheme could then address the issue of supply of drugs and affordability.


New Resource! UHC Forward is pleased to announce the addition of the Equitable Health Financing tool: UHC Forward is pleased to announce the addition of the Equitable Health Financing tool to assist policymakers, practitioners, researchers, civil society and other stakeholders easily navigate the evidence on different health financing methods and their impact on common health systems goals.

Accreditation: A continuous process for improvement: Kedar Mate, MD, vice president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and assistant professor of medicine at Will Cornell Medical College, explains accreditation as a tool for improving the quality of healthcare

Health Technology Assessment: A useful tool for countries moving toward Universal Health Coverage: NICE International’s Kalipso Chalkidou provides an update on the 2nd Annual meeting of HTAsiaLink

Global network on health equity: Consensus statement on Universal Health Coverage as a Shared Global Developmental Goal: This paper suggests that while the current MDG goals and targets need to be continued beyond 2015, they also need to be extended to address the major contribution of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to overall ill health and to incorporate equity in health outcomes. However, the authors argue that a focus solely on health outcomes is insufficient to ensure overall human dignity, well-being and health security.

Universal health coverage and HIV in resource-constrained countries: a critical juncture for research and action: The scope and diversity of the currently available information on the HIV epidemic and medical and social treatment programs support using HIV infection as an ideal topic for operational research on the implementation of payment exemptions. By using HIV as a starting point, these studies contribute to research on "health financing and the organization of health-care delivery," essential prerequisites for implementing UHC.

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