Fabrizio Tediosi¹, Martin Leschhorn² Paola Salari¹, Ally-Kebby Abdallah²
¹Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland; ²Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland, Switzerland
Social health protection through Universal Health Coverage is the aspiration that all people will obtain the health services they need while not suffering financially as a result of seeking health care. For the poorest countries, the greatest challenge is not only reaching the people so far not benefiting from quality health services, but also guaranteeing that their financial situation is not worsened by having to pay for the services they receive. The major challenges in these countries consist in understanding how to increase and sustain coverage, expanding the benefits package for people in the informal sector, and ensuring effective coverage with services and financial risk protection to the poorest segments of the population. This requires developing effective approaches to define eligibility criteria and better identify and target the excluded poor, and to ensure that the rights of citizens who are less likely to be covered are properly addressed. To this end, partnerships between governments and private stakeholders are key as well as an health system governance that is conducive and responsive to all population groups.
Building up social health protection systems in the frame of Universal Health Coverage needs an evidence based approach. For generating this evidence academia and beneficiaries have to work closely together in designing and conducting research.
This session will discuss the preliminary findings of a project on social health protection led by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (SwissTPH) and supported the Swiss Program for Research on Global Issues for Development, on the health systems governance challenges of two countries – Ghana and Tanzania – that are trying to extend their social health protection systems scaling up the coverage of their health insurance systems. It will discuss how can the research be used to have a really impact on policy making, the implications of integrating NGOs in research initiative to support policy dialogues and uptake of research findings, and how can NGOs and academia partner for strong social health protection systems?