Back in 2011, I was telling a senior consultant in Public Health about Brazil’s extraordinary primary care system which is based on an army of over 250k community health workers (CHW). It had been established in the northeast of the country in the mid-1990s, in response to a cholera epidemic, and since had scaled nationally, now serving over 70% of the population. The principles seemed simple enough. Individuals from a neighbourhood are recruited and trained on a wide array of health and social care issues for a few weeks and then spend their working days visiting all the households that they are responsible for. Not many households, just around 200 each, but each CHW makes sure that the households get at least one visit per month. (more…)
Dr Katharina Hauck, a Health Economist, explains how economics can help to implement universal health coverage in the real world.
Millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home. Globally, over 800 million people incur catastrophic out-of-pocket spending every year, with health care costs consuming at least 10% of their household budgets.
Therefore, this year’s World Health Day focuses on universal health coverage (UHC). The World Health Organization defines UHC as “ensuring that all people can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.” Many countries have declared their commitment to UHC. But after the political declarations are made, policymakers are left to grapple with a central issue: what services should be made available? (more…)
On World Health Day, Professor Azeem Majeed takes a look at the past, present and future of the NHS.
In 2018, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) celebrates its 70th anniversary. With the creation of the NHS in 1948, universal health coverage was finally implemented in the United Kingdom, with the NHS replacing the previous patchy health coverage schemes that had left many people with limited access to health services. All residents of the United Kingdom were given the right to register with a general practitioner, who was responsible for both providing primary care services and organizing referrals for specialist care. (more…)