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Submitted by Patricio V Marquez on
Thanks for your comment as the barriers to access and utilization are multiple, not just geographical or cultural. Financial barriers are real impediments as you noted. A great challenge in the African context, as in several countries elsewhere, is how to move forward incrementally and in a sustainable manner towards universal financial protection in health, particularly among vulnerable population groups. And this would require added efforts to mobilize funding, both increased tax funding of health care and under health insurance schemes. But let's keep in mind that funding alone will not solve the problem as there is the need for parallel efforts to improve access to, and the use of, quality services delivered in well run health systems. These challenges should be seen as part of a medium term process that requires political commitment at the highest level, honesty and transparency in the use of public funds, and a well defined road map to put in place sustainable arrangements or building blocks for an effective health system: from health care organization and related infrastructure and technological investments, supply chain arrangements, trained staff, predictable funding, quality assurance mechanisms, and performance management. The excellent speech by US Secretary of State Clinton "A World in Transition: Charting a New Path in Global Health" delivered in Oslo on June 1, 2012, makes some interesting points concerning to the above discussion. A good reading: http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/06/191633.htm