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Moving toward universal health coverage

25 Feb 2016 - 09:15

An article in the February Lancet discussed lessons learnt from eleven countries that are moving toward universal health coverage (UHC). An interesting read, as South Africa negotiates a National Health Insurance system.

The study showed that, while UHC is a complex process, with many challenges, pathways and pitfalls, it is feasible and achievable, but requires technical knowledge and political know-how. Pragmatism and innovation addressing national economical context is key.

The countries involved were Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Peru, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

It concluded: “Overall, countries have a better chance of moving forward if they have leaders who show political commitment to reform, a clear understanding of the political economy challenges, and a willingness to learn from experience and adapt. This combination of factors supports national leaders in their efforts to design and implement coverage-enhancing reforms that are inclusive and sustainable in the long run.” 

Click here to read South Africa’s white paper on National Health Insurance.