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Blog

Filtering by Category: Health Markets

Thinking of Health Insurance beyond OOPs

Future Health Systems

Out-of-pocket payments (OOPs) dominate the discourse on health insurance. The success of health insurance schemes is typically measured by whether such expenses decrease for the insured. Financial hardships can indeed significantly hinder access to health care. But other barriers exist within households and across social groups that can also restrict access to health care. Health insurance schemes can improve such situations and enhance access to health care. While they are well recognised for their potential to offer financial risk protection, their ability to promote equity in other ways is not as well understood. This blog draws from a recent presentation at the Fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR2018) to highlight how inter- and intra-household equity can be promoted through health insurance schemes for the poor. Empirical evidence from the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) - a state funded health insurance scheme for the poor in India – is cited to make the case.

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Urbanization and the learning agenda for health systems research: insights from Future Health Systems

Future Health Systems

Projections about urbanization are staggering: 55% of the world’s population already live in urban areas, and by 2050 this is predicted to rise to 68% with almost 90% of the growth happening in Asia and Africa. The implications for health are huge, as is the learning agenda for health systems research.

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Tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in pluralistic health systems

Future Health Systems

There is growing scientific evidence that infections that are resistant to antibiotics are a serious global health challenge. This has stimulated wide agreement on a Global Action Plan for Addressing AMR and many countries have produced National Action Plans. It is important that these action plans take into account the local context. This is especially important in countries with a pluralistic health system in which people seek health care from a wide variety of public and private providers of drugs and medical care. One lesson from the work of the Future Health Systems Consortium is the need to take a systems approach for tackling health challenges in these countries. This blog highlights some priority issues that this kind of approach needs to take into account.

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How will China’s Belt and Road shape global health cooperation?

Future Health Systems

The term ‘BRICS’ was coined to reflect a changing world, in which a number of large, emerging economies were starting to play a greater role in world economic affairs. Terms such as this reflect changing global realities, but also have the potential to shape those realities. The jury is still out on how far China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI) will reshape the way we see the world. The view of blog post authors Lewsi Husain and Gerry Bloom is that it will have a significant impact in many areas, one of which is advancing cooperation for global health. At a time of retrenchment and reorientation in developed economies’ assistance, how China, existing donors and health agencies learn to work together will have an important impact on global health outcomes and may provide learning on how to collaborate on other, more contentious, issues.

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Dimensions of equitable eHealth: how can we take it to the next level?

Future Health Systems

There are about 7 billion mobile users globally, and no less than 95% of people are covered by at least 2G network. Via smartphones, people have access to over 40,000 health apps. As a result, globally there is much interest in eHealth, especially in addressing various barriers related to access to healthcare. However, from the health equity standpoint, we have to ask, who has access to quality health information through electronic platforms (eHealth)?

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Needs of the poorest must be central to tackling antibiotic resistance

Future Health Systems

Launched this week is a major report on tackling the growing resistance to antibiotics by the UK Government and the Wellcome Trust. The authors of this blog post fully support its call for the G20 and the UN to take the lead in building a global coalition for action to address this urgent issue, and urge world leaders to consider the unmet needs of the poorest as central to a solution. 

As the World Health Assembly and the G7 Summit meet next week, their recommendations must recognise that very large numbers of people still do not have access to antibiotic treatment when they have an infection. Action on antibiotic resistance should not undermine the continuing need to ensure everyone has access to the medicines they require to live full and healthy lives - a goal which has not yet been consistently reached outside of richer countries. 

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The messy reality of health markets

Future Health Systems

During the wrap up session at the end of the Private Sector in Health Symposium 2013, an eminent health economist reflected on a number of the interventions presented at the symposium which revealed the messy reality of the health sector in many countries. He suggested that we really did not seem to know what we meant by the “private sector” – it seemed to cover everything from transnational companies, large and small NGOs, small private clinics, suppliers of health-related goods and services operating outside any legal framework.
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This is not a love-fest

Future Health Systems

On July 6th, the Private Sector in Health Symposium will convene for the third time in six years before the International Health Economics Association (iHEA) World Congress, and builds upon a well-attendedwebinar series in the run-up to the symposium.. The symposium attracts a broad spectrum of scholars from multiple disciplines. It won’t just be economists, and it won’t be a love-fest for unleashing free market economics in health care systems. The private sector in health is problematic, but we are going to have to live with it for quite some time -- so it’s a good thing so many intrepid scholars have joined forces to find ways to get the private sector to effectively deliver high quality services, to reach the poor, and to reduce the financial jeopardy for patients who access it.

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From private sector to health markets

Future Health Systems

By DR GERALD BLOOM, INSTITUTE OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES

At a plenary discussion during the iHEA pre-congress session on 'the Private Sector in Health', Gerry suggests an important reframing of the terms of engagement. No longer are we talking about working with the private sector, but rather we are now 'engaging with health markets'. In the video below he looks to the future and suggests that we must focus on regulatory frameworks and the shift in the locus of innovation, especially to rapidly growing middle-income countries.