Universal health coverage within reach for developing countries

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Once seen as a distant objective, economic growth and political will are now bringing universal health coverage within reach for the developing world. But great financial and social challenges still remain to be addressed before the vision becomes reality, EurActiv France reports.

Developing countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa are quickly catching up with European healthcare standards, although it will take nearly half a century before all can provide comparable treatments.

In just a few years Rwanda, Thailand, Ghana and Turkey have led the way and established national programmes, ensuring access to extended healthcare coverage – while minimising costs – so protecting the most vulnerable among their populations from falling into extreme poverty.

According to a report by the African Development Bank Group, a majority of African countries will be in a position to ensure at least minimal health coverage for their populations, if not full coverage, by 2060.

For now, healthcare insurance is usually limited to certain areas or privileged classes, while millions of people are prevented from seeking treatments by poverty and onerous healthcare costs.

Source: EurActiv.com (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
public health