Health coverage low and access inequitable in South Asia

Health coverage low and access inequitable in South Asia PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News 784, p19 - 12 Aug 2017 Health coverage low and access inequitable in South Asia Health coverage is low and access to healthcare is inequitable in South Asian countries, according to findings of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Universal health coverage (UHC) is a key target in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This study used national survey data between 2010 and 2015 in a total of 335 373 households to investigate healthcare coverage (access to healthcare services, equity, and financial risk protection) in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. Access to basic healthcare varied across all countries; the mean rate of overall prevention coverage was 53.0% in Afghanistan, 76.5% in Bangladesh, 74.2% in India, 76.8% in Nepal and 69.8% in Pakistan, and the mean treatment coverage rate was 51.2%, 44.8%, 83.5%, 57.8% and 50.4%, respectively. Financial risk protection rates were low, and the proportion of households incurring catastrophic healthcare costs ranged from 4.4% in Pakistan to 17.9% in India. Access to maternity services including institutional delivery and a skilled delivery attendant was greater among women in the highest wealth quintiles in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. Healthcare coverage was least equitable with respect to sanitation, institutional delivery, and skilled birth attendants. "The journey toward universal health coverage is far from complete, but with proper attention to access and equity in health, even the poorest nations in South Asia can make steady progress toward achieving health care for all," concluded the authors. "These results suggest that a framework for UHC that includes indicators of equity is required to prevent coverage expansion from inadvertently widening health disparities between rich and poor populations," commented Neelam Sekhri Feachem and Dr Saate Shakil, from the University of California, San Francisco, in an invited commentary published in JAMA Internal Medicine. "It will clearly require a major transformation in commitment by national and subnational governments and innovation on a heroic scale to put South Asia on track for UHC by 2030." they said. 1. Rahman MM, et al. Progress Toward Universal Health Coverage. A Comparative Analysis in 5 South Asian Countries. JAMA Internal Medicine : 7 Aug 2017. Available from: URL: jamainternmed.2017.3133. 2. Feachem NS, et al. Outcomes in South Asia Matter for the World. JAMA Internal Medicine : 31 Jul 2017. Available from: URL: jamainternmed.2017.3140. 1173-5503/17/0784-0001/$14.95 Adis © 2017 Springer International Publishing AG. All rights reserved PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News 12 Aug 2017 No. 784 PharmacoEconomics & Outcomes News Springer Journals

Health coverage low and access inequitable in South Asia

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Springer International Publishing
Copyright © 2017 by Springer International Publishing AG
Medicine & Public Health; Pharmacoeconomics and Health Outcomes; Quality of Life Research; Health Economics; Public Health
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