Japan has pledged to contribute $2.9 billion to programmes that are combating infectious diseases and treating young children in developing countries. In particular, to countries that are pushing towards getting universal health coverage.
Making healthcare accessible for everyone
The World Health Organisation (WHO) aims to get 80% of the population in developing countries access to basic health service by 2030. They hope to make sure that no one falls into poverty due to out-of-pocket expenses for health care.
100 million people fall into poverty every year as a result of having to pay for expensive health care. Another 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household income on expenses for care for themselves or loved ones when they are sick.
The aim of universal health coverage is to ensure that every single person can obtain the health care services they need without suffering financially. It allows everyone to access the services that try to combat the most common causes of disease and death. It also ensures that the quality of those services is high. Japan’s target is for 1 billion more people to be able to receive this kind of care by 2023.
Japan has one of the highest global life expectancies and the country’s healthcare system is one of the best and cheapest in the world. Their bold contribution to helping less developed countries shows their experience and leadership in the field of healthcare.
The country’s healthcare consists of a hybrid of public and private healthcare. The government pays 70% of the cost of all health procedures for its citizens. The remaining 30% is covered by private health insurance and the spending on this is usually tax deductible.
For emergency care, the government pays more for those who are poor, disabled or have chronic conditions. This ensures that everyone can access healthcare when they really need it. The system works well and is one of the world’s best. Japan will hopefully be able to contribute to other countries its own experience with health coverage.
Japan’s generous pledge is a step in the right direction to reaching universal healthcare worldwide. However, there is still a lot to be done and a lot more money to be invested before many developing countries will be able to receive medical treatment without financial burdens. With any luck, developed countries will follow Japan’s lead and by 2030 we may see a huge leap towards the WHO’s 80% target.