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Using targeted subsidies to improve access to health care for the poor in low-income countries: lessons from Cambodia 2000-2009

woensdag, 29 juni, 2011 - 17:00
Campus: Brussels Health Campus
Faculteit: Medicine and Pharmacy
auditorium P. Brouwer
Por Ir

Ensuring universal access to health care without
incurring catastrophic financial consequences –
universal coverage –is a fundamental goal of
many health systems and policies, in developed
and developing countries alike. Cambodia is no
exception. However, access to affordable and
effective health care remains a major problem for
poor people in Cambodia as public funding for
health services is insufficient and social health
insurance is underdeveloped. In recent years,
targeted subsidy mechanisms such as health
equity funds and vouchers have increasingly been
used to overcome barriers for the poor to
accessing health care. Knowledge on their impact
and other crucial issues related to targeted
subsidies remains fairly limited though. This
dissertation tries to address this gap, based on
more than ten years of field experience, a
thorough literature review and studies conducted
on health equity funds and vouchers. The findings
demonstrate the important role of these targeted
subsidy mechanisms in improving access to
health care for the poor in resource-poor settings
like Cambodia. The findings also shed light on
some of the conditions that need to be in place
for implementing targeted subsidies and on
issues that are often overlooked in this debate:
the identification of the poor, a better
understanding of the major health problems
affecting the poor, and the successful translation
of knowledge from a pilot into health policy.

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