Jakarta Post

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post
The Jakarta Post
Video Weather icon 30°C
DKI Jakarta, Indonesia
30°C Partly Cloudy

Dry and mostly cloudy throughout the day.

  • Wed

    26℃ - 32℃

  • Thu

    25℃ - 32℃

  • Fri

    25℃ - 31℃

  • Sat

    26℃ - 30℃

WHO urges SEA countries to prioritize universal health care

  • News Desk
    News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, April 4, 2018 | 06:29 pm
WHO urges SEA countries to prioritize universal health care Healthcare card: Health insurance firm PT Askes director Sri Endang Tidarwati holds up a health insurance card in Jakarta, in this file photo. The BPJS Kesehatan (Healthcare and Social Security Agency) scheme became effective on Jan. 1, 2014. (JP/-)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on countries in its South-East Asia region to step up their efforts in achieving universal health coverage to provide their people with quality healthcare services without having to suffer financial difficulties.

“Universal health coverage is central to improving health and well-being – a fundamental human right. It is also imperative for a country’s well-being as healthier populations create more productive economies,” WHO South-East Asia regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said on Wednesday as part of World Health Day, which is celebrated annually on April 7.

Universal health coverage is a WHO South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO) flagship program initiated in 2014. Currently, nearly half of the region’s population still lacks full coverage of essential health services.

Around 65 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty, mainly due to paying for medicine out-of-pocket, especially for non-communicable diseases.

Singh said more efforts were needed to increase human resources for health, enhance the skills of health workers and aid staff retention in rural and hard-to-reach areas to ensure the availability of quality health services.

She highlighted that by 2020, more of the region’s population will be over 60.

“Ageing population, reversing the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, and early detection and timely treatment of infectious diseases, should be the focus of frontline services,” Singh said.

Increasing access to quality and affordable medicines is also fundamental. “Paying out-of-pocket for medicines is the leading cause of financial hardship from health care spending in this region,” she added. (ebf)

Join the discussions