OPM consultant speaks to DEVCO about the possibility of Universal Health Coverage
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January 2017
Speaking at the DEVCO health seminar in 2016, OPM senior consultant for health Nouria Brikci discussed the benefits and feasibility of achieving Universal Health Coverage in all countries, acknowledging that it will take time and the right strategic approaches.
 
 
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to ensure that everyone has access to good-quality healthcare without facing financial hardship as a result of benefitting from these services. Each country’s existing health services will differ, as will the size of population and funding currently available, but Brikci spoke optimistically about UHC being a ‘seemingly enormous’, but achievable, ambition for every country.
 
In a video interview for the European Commission’s capacity4dev, Brikci explained that it was not simply a question of increasing a nation’s allocation of revenue to health, but of ensuring that countries spend their health budget in the most efficient and strategic way. While aid will remain a fiscal requirement for many low- and low-middle-income countries to achieve UHC, at least in the short term, many middle-income countries would be able to reach UHC self-sufficiently.
 
The availability of budget is not the only potential obstacle to UHC; political will and negotiation will also be paramount. “It’s essential for ministries of health to engage in dialogue with ministries of finance,” Brikci says. “The first point a Ministry of Health can make - to convince the Ministry of Finance to invest in health - is that health is a source of economic growth. Investing in health will translate in economic growth.”
 
Brikci added that the timescale for achieving UHC would differ in each country, warning that “we need to be reasonable in terms of how long it takes to really strengthen the system so that it’s able to offer the quality of care that it should, and ensuring that everyone has the financial protection that they need to be able to access those services”.
 
OPM continues to play a pivotal role in analysing the financial feasibility of achieving UHC so that this ambition can be turned into a reality, including a pilot project in Bangladesh.
 
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OPM consultant speaks to DEVCO about the possibility of Universal Health Coverage

January 2017
Speaking at the DEVCO health seminar in 2016, OPM senior consultant for health Nouria Brikci discussed the benefits and feasibility of achieving Universal Health Coverage in all countries, acknowledging that it will take time and the right strategic approaches.
 
 
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to ensure that everyone has access to good-quality healthcare without facing financial hardship as a result of benefitting from these services. Each country’s existing health services will differ, as will the size of population and funding currently available, but Brikci spoke optimistically about UHC being a ‘seemingly enormous’, but achievable, ambition for every country.
 
In a video interview for the European Commission’s capacity4dev, Brikci explained that it was not simply a question of increasing a nation’s allocation of revenue to health, but of ensuring that countries spend their health budget in the most efficient and strategic way. While aid will remain a fiscal requirement for many low- and low-middle-income countries to achieve UHC, at least in the short term, many middle-income countries would be able to reach UHC self-sufficiently.
 
The availability of budget is not the only potential obstacle to UHC; political will and negotiation will also be paramount. “It’s essential for ministries of health to engage in dialogue with ministries of finance,” Brikci says. “The first point a Ministry of Health can make - to convince the Ministry of Finance to invest in health - is that health is a source of economic growth. Investing in health will translate in economic growth.”
 
Brikci added that the timescale for achieving UHC would differ in each country, warning that “we need to be reasonable in terms of how long it takes to really strengthen the system so that it’s able to offer the quality of care that it should, and ensuring that everyone has the financial protection that they need to be able to access those services”.
 
OPM continues to play a pivotal role in analysing the financial feasibility of achieving UHC so that this ambition can be turned into a reality, including a pilot project in Bangladesh.