IHP news 513: UHC

By on March 15, 2019

Women in Global Health – Call to Action: Universal Health Coverage; To the Members of the UN High Level Meeting on UHC


WGH’s key asks on UHC & gender, for the UN HL meeting in September.

Plos Med (essay) – The Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and the path to universal health coverage in India: Overcoming the challenges of stewardship and governance


In an Essay, Blake Angell & colleagues discuss ambitious reforms planned to expand coverage of the health system in India.”

Devex (op-ed) – Remittances could be a gamechanger in the quest for UHC. Here’s how.

I Nsofor (Nigeria Health Watch, Aspen New Voice); https://www.devex.com/news/opinion-remittances-could-be-a-gamechanger-in-the-quest-for-uhc-here-s-how-94432

Remittances to low- and middle-income countries are projected to increase by just over 10 percent in 2018 — up from just over 7 percent in 2017 — to reach $528 billion…. … This is more than triple the amount sent globally for development aid, and a huge amount, by any standard. It plays a crucial role in combating poverty through supporting the consumption, education, and health expenditures of households. But its impact could be even greater. Giving family members working abroad the option of investing even one penny of every dollar sent home into health insurance plans could transform the health of families and of nations. A close look at Nigeria shows what this could mean. Within Africa, Nigeria receives the lion’s share of remittances — an estimated $22 billion, out of $69 billion for the continent as a whole. This $22 billion is equal to 88 percent of Nigeria’s 2018 federal budget and 2,219 percent of its 2018 federal health budget, which amounted to just $976 million in 2018….”

Remittances by the African diaspora, if properly channeled, have the potential to be the game changer in Africa’s push toward universal health coverage … … The African diaspora could change this. Rather than supporting their families through one health emergency at a time, it could help their families pay for health insurance that provides preventative care — and avoid many of those emergencies. Professional African diasporan organizations could play a catalytic role in establishing this structured allocation of remittances….”

BMJ (blog) – The deepening health crisis in the UK requires society wide, political intervention

L Hiam & M McKee; BMJ blog;

Life expectancy in the UK has fallen, again. The trend that started in 2010-2011 has worsened. The total fall in life expectancy compared to 2015 projections is 13 months for men and 14 months for women.  These latest figures are no surprise to those who have been raising the alarm about life expectancy since as early as 2014. Extensive research on 30,000 excess in deaths in 2015 called for an urgent investigation to determine whether rising deaths were linked to austerity. …”

“…Protecting the health of a population is a key part of the social contract between a government and its electorate. Any stall in improvements, or worse still, reversal of trends in key indicators like life expectancy and infant mortality, point to a failure by society. The growing evidence of worsening health outcomes resulting in, put bluntly, deaths of babies, young people, and those over 65, means the arguments that this was a “blip”, caused by “flu”, or simply fluctuations in the data, are no longer worthy of debate. Neither will focusing on individual behaviour improve outcomes. The deepening health crisis in the UK requires society-wide, political intervention. Theresa May’s government, and David Cameron’s before it, have overseen an evisceration of the social contract. …

See also the GuardianLife expectancy falls by six months in biggest drop in UK forecasts.

Health Systems & Reform – Why health reforms fail: Lessons from the 2014 Chilean attempt to reform

P V Dintrans; https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23288604.2019.1589916

In 2014 Chile started a process to reform its private health insurance scheme. A Commission was created and released a report with recommendations, but no changes have been introduced yet. This paper analyzes that reform process. The analysis included document review and interviews with key stakeholders involved in the process. Results show that although the Commission failed in producing the intended changes, it contributed to opening the debate regarding the Chilean health system, making explicit the different positions on the issue. The analysis shows that the reform did not advance because of the lack of basic consensus on the Commission’s role, scope, and main purpose among stakeholders. Previous reforms highlight the relevance of time and information in creating a successful reform process.”

And a quick link: Independent State of Papua New Guinea health system review  ( World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia)

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