access to health care

This study used a mixed methods evaluation to determine the effect of a targeted health insurance scheme on access to affordable quality maternal and child care, and assess implementation fidelity and how this affected programme outcomes. A total of 90 in-depth interviews (IDIs) and five focus group discussions were conducted among respondents from management, facility and community. The scheme achieved high coverage among the target population and reduced the amount paid for antenatal and delivery care; however, there was no effect on service coverage and limited effects on quality of care. Better communication of programme benefits is needed to enhance effects together with integration of such schemes within existing purchasing mechanisms and in financially decentralised health systems.

The vision of universal health coverage (UHC) is that everyone has access to the quality prevention and treatment services they need, without enduring financial hardship as a result of essential health expenditures. UHC programmes pursue this aim by mobilising all viable financial resources, with an emphasis on increasing public funding; by using these resources to strengthen health systems and ensure service quality; and by establishing financial protection mechanisms.

Ensuring that medicines which achieve important health outcomes are available, accessible to all, used appropriately, and sustainably affordable is essential for realizing universal health coverage. Stakeholder cooperation and use of information and financing system levers provide opportunities to work toward this goal.

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