Blogs tagged: Universal Health Coverage

WHO-World Bank seek input on draft framework for monitoring UHC

Monitoring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage at Country and Global Levels: A Framework

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank seek feedback on the proposed UHC monitoring framework from countries, development partners, civil society, academics, and other interested stakeholders. This feedback will inform the further development and refinement of a common framework for monitoring progress towards UHC at country and global levels.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement across the globe for universal health coverage (UHC) – ensuring that everyone who needs health services is able to get them, without undue financial hardship. This has led to a sharp increase in the demand for expertise, evidence, and measures of progress towards UHC and a push for UHC as one of the possible goals of the post-2015 development agenda.

Celebrate Solutions: Expanding Universal Health Coverage to Save Lives

(Crossposted from Women Deliver)

By: Dr. Jeanette Vega, Managing Director for Health, Rockefeller Foundation

In just over a year since the UN General Assembly passed a historic resolution on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), we have seen incredible momentum around the topic. UHC is fast becoming one of the most important and relevant issues in the global health sector, setting the stage for UHC’s prioritization in the post-2015 development agenda.

Now, global health leaders Jonathan Quick, Jonathan Jay, and Ana Langer have authored a new essay in PLoS Medicine that highlights the importance of Improving Women’s Health through Universal Health Coverage.

No UHC without health workers

This week two thousand people gathered in Recife, Brazil for the 3rd Global Forum on Human Resources for Health. As well as looking back on progress made over the past decade, the Forum also looked ahead to the role of health workers in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The overarching message from the Forum is that UHC depends on health workers. However, new data published at the Forum warns that we face a current shortage of more than 7.2 million doctors, nurses and midwives, not to mention those uncounted community health workers who are often the only healthcare providers available to the poorest people.

Healthcare: A democratic dividend?

This article is cross-posted from This is Africa a service from the Financial Times

Empirical studies have linked democracy to improved social indicators, but debate rages on the causal mechanisms at play. Africa shows there is no straightforward link between multiparty electoral democracy and better healthcare outcomes.

In the 1990s, the Nobel prize-winning economist Amartya Sen made a compelling case for democratisation. ''No famine has ever taken place in the history of the world in a functioning democracy,'' he wrote. This is because governments ''have to win elections and face public criticism, and have strong incentives to undertake measures to avert famines and other catastrophes.''

His argument has shaped thinking in countless areas of public service delivery - from education to infrastructure; but none more so than healthcare.

Nigeria on the move towards universal health coverage

Kunle’s story touched me deeply. I walked into a pediatric unit of a teaching hospital in Nigeria a few years ago to review a patient. On the first bed was a lifeless child. He was brought in dead, a few minutes earlier by his parents. His mother, Bisi, wept uncontrollably. While in tears, she recounted how difficult it was for them to borrow money to get to the hospital. Although, they got some money from a chief in the community, the two-year old baby died before they got to the hospital.

Kunle’s case typifies the plight of many poor people in the country and the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. The financial burden of illness makes many families poorer. People are afraid to go to hospitals because they may not be able to afford the cost of the health services they need. They prefer to buy drugs over the counter or visit a local herbalist who will charge little or nothing to provide poor health service.

I believe Kunle had a right to be alive today but he is not.

An online debate about the UN General Assembly vote in favour of universal health coverage

This blog is cross-posted from Health Financing in Africa: Le Blog. Collection, editing, titling and introduction of this blogpost has been done by Emmanuel Ngabire, co-facilitator of the PBF Community of Practice.

**On December 12th, a resolution called “Global health and foreign policy” was voted at the United Nations. This declaration, whose main focus is universal health coverage (UHC), triggered a debate on the online discussion forum of the Performance-Based Financing Community of Practice. Most of the discussion focused on the usefulness of such resolutions. Several members are concerned about the possible negative impact in low-income countries.

Life after the MDGs

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 2000 are set to expire in 2015, so it is not surprising that a vigorous debate has started on what should succeed them. The UN has established a website dedicated to this and a series of thematic consultations, managed by specialized UN agencies, are now underway. Within the global public health community, there is also a tinge of anxiety that the strong share of health in the current MDGs (three out of eight are health related) could be diluted as other pressing themes such as climate change rise to the top of the agenda.

Maharashtra launches health insurance scheme for poor

New scheme expected to provide health insurance to 20 million poor people

On Friday, August 26, 2011, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, issued orders to begin implementation of the Rajiv Gandhi Lifesaving Health Scheme (RGLHS). The RGLHS provides health insurance to 20 million poor people in the Indian state of Maharashtra. All administrative measures, including issuing identity cards to the beneficiaries, are expected to be completed by April 2012.

The RGLHS will enable poor people, both below and above the poverty line, to get critical health treatment for around 972 surgical procedures identified in the scheme. The major diseases and surgical procedures covered under this scheme include cardiac, renal, brain and nervous system disorders, cancer and other health problems.

Under the RGLHS, the state government would pay health insurance premiums to insurance companies on behalf of the targeted population. A large number of public, private and charitable hospitals and nursing will also be included in the implementation.

Universal Immunization Through Universal Health Coverage

Editor's Note: This post first appeared on the Management Sciences for Health (MSH) blog. It is re-posted with permission.

A child born in Ghana today will most likely receive a full schedule of immunizations, and her chances of surviving past the age of five are far better than they were a decade ago. Today Ghana boasts a coverage rate for infant vaccination of 90 percent and hasn’t seen an infant die of measles since 2003.

Ghana has been expanding primary health care by bringing services to people’s doorsteps since the 1980s, and since the early 2000s has done so in the context of a commitment to universal health coverage.