May 27, 2017 News
The allocated sum from the national budget is almost always inadequate to fulfill all of the elements to cater to universal health coverage. However, through international donor partners and friends, the local health sector is sometimes barely able to address some of the shortfalls of the budget.
This informed disclosure was vocalized by Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawrence, during a round table discussion at the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The WHA meeting commenced last Monday, May 22, and will continue until next Wednesday, May 31.
The Minister in her deliberations about the limited funding for health coverage pointed out that donor support has been dwindling. “More and more, this global support is shrinking and we now are forced to curtail our essential package of health care services to address all these needs,” the Minister revealed.
In essence, she noted that the existing shortfalls, coupled with the growing demands for advanced and expensive health services, such as cardiac and neurosurgeries, cancer treatment, long-term medical treatments and rehabilitation are needed to respond to lifestyle-type medical conditions. Many of these, she added, are related to the broad social determinants of health such as Non-Communicable Diseases, accidents and violence, all of which can leave the health sector to make hard choices, and ration limited resources away from the most vulnerable in the society.
But according to Minister Lawrence, “We know that creating awareness with regards to the social determinants of health, promoting health at all levels of our community; ensuring that healthy public policies are in place; and developing and implementing innovative approaches that work, along with a public private mix that address the high-end needs, can arrest this escalating demand we face.”
She proposed that ensuring rigorous financial management with pooled health funding from taxation of unhealthy and harmful products, along with contributions from the population – through health insurance and contribution schemes – will serve to ensure that there is sustainable health coverage.
“Even now these remain inadequate and we depend on donors,” said Minister Lawrence as she emphasized that “who can pay should pay.”
But there is more that should be done in order for things to evolve. In this regard, Minister Lawrence suggested at the WHA forum that stronger efforts be made at the level of WHA and among concerned governments, for revision of financing at national levels, with health being designated as top priority for funding.
In so doing, she stressed, there should be targeted allocation of resources to address the growing shortage of health workers, and the management of all the resources in both the public and private health sectors, efficiently, even as moves are made to achieve the goal of universal health coverage by 2030.
Universal Health Coverage is captured in the mandate of the Ministry of Public Health as “the right of all to medical and health care”. It requires adequate health financing, an efficient health workforce, all the essential medicines and health products being in place; that health policies are developed and implemented; health statistics and information are collected, analyzed and used in planning, and that a high quality of service is delivered to people safely.
But Minister Lawrence noted that “delivering adequate health care and providing the key elements of Universal Health Coverage to all our people have always been a challenge for developing countries with limited resources and underdeveloped systems”.
As such, the Minister called the WHA meeting and roundtable timely, in the quest to address the most important subject of the Sustainable Financing of Universal Health Coverage in the countries of the Commonwealth.
Oct 19, 2021Kaieteur News – Left handed hard hitter Videsh Persaud edged out Hilbert Shields and Ayube Subhan to win the annual Trophy Stall Golf Tournament on Saturday last at the Lusignan Golf Club...
Oct 19, 2021
Oct 19, 2021
Oct 18, 2021
Oct 18, 2021
Oct 18, 2021
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – On October 12, more than a dozen representatives in the US Congress sent a letter... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]