(Accessed 28 November 2010)
Sara Bennett, Sachiko Ozawa, Krishna D. Rao
Perspective, published 22 Nov 2010 doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001001
From the US to China, South Africa to India, governments and citizens are engaged in an active debate about how best to protect people from catastrophic health care costs while ensuring access to health care of adequate quality. While it is widely known that in the US there are 50 million uninsured, it is perhaps less well known that across the world 100 million people are pushed into poverty each year because of health care expenditures. This is an avoidable tragedy.
With the financial crisis still looming over many countries, this year’s World Health Report: “Health Systems Financing: The path to universal coverage” could not be more timely in addressing the question of how to ensure that all people have access to health care services, without suffering financial hardship. In a hundred easy-to-read pages, the report synthesizes evidence concerning effective strategies to achieve universal coverage, drawing upon the now substantial body of published literature from around the world, as well as a number of background papers commissioned especially for the report…