Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Saturday, November 23, 2019 01:11:51 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Healthy People For Strong Economies

Cost Of Medicare In Developing Countries High

  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Kristalina Georgieva :
Dieynaba Nioula Kane remembers vividly when, for the first time in her life, she was forced to ask friends and family for money. It was out of desperation after the birth of her fifth child, a little boy with a life-threatening condition that needed specialist treatment in the capital. Dieynaba was forced to leave her job teaching French and hurriedly relocate to Dakar, where she was able to find the health services he needed.
But the expenses quickly piled up. Hospital bills, a tracheostomy, medicines, dressings, fees for nurses and doctors, plus the cost of food and transportation to and from the hospital. As she took a break from paid employment for four years to focus on her son's health her family's economic conditions deteriorated. It took the family years to recover.
Country health systems built on the principles of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) ensure that all people have access to the quality essential health services they need without suffering financial hardship. They enable the good health for children to thrive at school and for adults to be productive at work. They also prevent catastrophic expenses for families.
Financing UHC efficiently and equitably is important to ensure inclusive growth-especially since the health sector accounts for 11 percent of global GDP.  
Japan, the current President of the G20, credits its own adoption of a UHC-based system in 1961 for the decades of social and economic development that followed.
This weekend at the G20 Summit in Osaka, the World Bank Group will publish a new report that explains how people in developing countries, just like Dieynaba, spend half a trillion dollars on direct healthcare costs each year. This burden falls most heavily on the poor who spend a larger proportion of their meagre budgets dealing with health crises because they are not covered by a universal healthcare system like the UK's NHS.
For individuals who live without this protection, the impact is catastrophic-every year, out-of-pocket medical bills result in 100 million people like Dieynaba living in extreme poverty.
For societies and economies, the big improvements in health of recent decades are at risk. Economic growth is stifled by a less productive workforce. And we are all more exposed to the pandemic disease outbreaks that can spread rapidly in an interconnected world.
Part of the reason is that developing countries don't spend enough on health. By 2030, we estimate that the World's 54 poorest countries will have a funding gap of US$176 billion per year between what they have and what they need for decent, affordable health services. Unfortunately, however, the problem goes deeper than not enough money. Between 20 and 40 percent of health spending in developing countries is wasted or used inefficiently, and low-income countries are also starting to face the challenges of an aging population and an increase in chronic, non-communicable diseases.
Together, these factors will drive an upward spiral of healthcare costs which will further burden the poor and create a disastrous recipe for potential health and economic setbacks in the coming decades. It is in the interests of the whole world to guard against economic risks, and we owe thanks to the government of Japan for putting this on the agenda of the G20. "Financing UHC efficiently and equitably is important to ensure inclusive growth-especially since the health sector accounts for 11 percent of global GDP."
The solutions start with budget decisions made by countries themselves. Enlightened Finance Ministries will see investments in their citizens as central to their future growth and prosperity in an economy that will increasingly value workers with higher order cognitive skills. In other words, a healthier workforce will be a more competitive workforce.
The World Bank has been working with countries through its Human Capital Project to increase such investments, including in health, which is currently as low as 3 percent of some countries' budgets.
When it comes to improving how budgets are to spent there are proven strategies that deliver better more bang for the buck. For example, improved primary healthcare services and community health are likely to reach more vulnerable people in remote places. Similarly, taxing tobacco, alcohol and sugary drinks raises revenue and improves general health across the population.
International assistance is also an important part of the equation. The UK's leading commitment to development assistance and work through joined-up innovative efforts have been key to many recent developing country health gains like improved immunization, treatment for HIV-AIDS and better maternal and child health and nutrition. And investing in effective health systems at a country level has a positive payback loop for donors in areas like limiting the spread of infectious diseases.
In even the most optimistic scenario, however, boosting country and donor investments in health would only cover half the 2030 health financing gap in developing countries. New approaches are needed for people like Dieynaba to avoid the health trapdoor that plunges them into poverty.
For example, tapping into a fraction of the pernicious half trillion dollars per year currently spent on pay-as-you-go healthcare represent frontier investment opportunities for pre-paid and pooled health financing. This would be a good first step to protect all people's health-and their household budgets - in a way that drives better health and inclusive growth.

(Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer, The World Bank)

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Political will needed to make ACC effective

THE Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday said that they are facing serious crisis of people's trust in them. The scale of failure overweighed their successes in the 15 years of establishment. The Commission's realisation comes in its 15th anniversary, when corruption index shows downtrend in all sectors and the media investigated ...

Cricket »

Bhuvneshwar, Kuldeep recalled for West Indies series

Agency :Fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav have been named in India's squad for the limited-overs series against West Indies at home.They will be joined by regular skipper Virat Kohli, who was rested for the Twenty20 International leg of the Bangladesh series, and fast bowler Mohammed Shami, ...

International »

Pope says tech, globalisation endanger youth individuality

Reuters, Bangkok :Pope Francis warned on Friday that technology and globalisation were homogenising young people around the world to the point where their uniqueness and cultural individuality were becoming endangered species.The 82-year-old pope made his appeal for young people to hold on to the cultures handed down by their ancestors ...

Entertainment »

What’s the success mantra of Ishaa?

Ishaa Saha who is currently basking on the glory three back to back successes with Guptodhoner Sondhane, Dugershgorer Guptodhon and Sweater has managed to carve a special niche for herself with hard work and tenacity. We asked the young talented actor what she has learned as an actor so far ...

Editorial »

Government lacks human factor for solving crisis

GETTING assurance from government that the demands regarding the Road Transport Act would be looked into, the transport leaders and workers have called off their nationwide strike that began on Wednesday. Earlier, they went on a strike demanding 9-points including amendment to the newly introduced law.  The Home Minister himself ...

International »

Pope in Thailand calls for action to protect women, children

AP, Bangkok :Pope Francis called Thursday for women and children to be protected from exploitation, abuse and enslavement as he began a busy two days of meetings in Thailand, where human trafficking and forced prostitution help fuel the sexual tourism industry.Francis pleaded for action against one of the region's greatest ...

Cricket »

Indian and Bangladeshi cricket supporters cheer for their teams with their national flags ahead of their second cricket Test match between India and Bangladesh, in Kolkata, India on Thursday. The second and final game in the series is scheduled to be played in Kolkata starting today.


Entertainment »

Manjari Fadnnis bags an UN backed int’l project

After the success of Barot House, Manjari Faddnis makes her presence felt in a United Nations backed project, Megha’s Divorce helmed by award winning director Nila Madhab Panda. Megha’s Divorce is a short film which part of an anthology of shorts curated from world over. In India, the film will ...

Entertainment »

Shanu’s three books coming Ekushey Book Fair

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Popular Lux superstar and actress Shanarei Devi Shanu has been passing busy times with writing stories, novels and poems foe last few years. This year’s book fair, Shanu-written first children book titled Shanarei O Tar Jadur Leitreng. For writing this book she recently got Meena Award. According ...

Editorial »

Govt now faces its own created monsters

THE truck owners and workers have gone for work abstention protesting the enforcement of the Road Transport Act-2018 resulting in immense sufferings to people and businessmen across the country. The transport workers in nine more districts joined the work stoppage yesterday that began in 10 districts on Monday, defying the ...

Cricket »

Early sunset in Kolkata could pose challenge for batsmen, says Vettori

Bangladesh's spin bowling consultant Daniel Vettori conceded that early sunset in Kolkata could pose a massive challenge for his team's batsmen during the "twilight" hours of the upcoming historic Day-Night Test against India starting on Friday.While a handful of first team players from India have played pink-ball game in domestic ...

International »

Israeli settlements are still illegal despite Trump backing them: UN

The Independent :Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory remain illegal despite the US saying it no longer considers them inconsistent with international law, the United Nations human rights office has said.The Trump administration abandoned its four-decade policy on Monday by saying it was "reversing the Obama administration's approach towards Israeli ...

International »

US scientist claims evidence of life on Mars

Agencies, New York :As scientists scramble to determine whether there is life on Mars, a researcher from Ohio University in US believes that there is evidence of insect-like creatures on the red planet.Courtesy photographs from various Mars rovers, Professor Emeritus William Romoser's research found numerous examples of insect-like forms, structured ...

City »

Envoy of Ivory Coast to Bangladesh Mr. Sainy Tiemele paid a farewell call on President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban on Wednesday.

City »

Jatiyatabadi Krishak Dal formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Tuesday in protest against price spiral of essential commodities.

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news