Despite protests and warnings of poor households not being able to access vital services, this policy was soon imposed across practically the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. But it was in Mali that a compromise was agreed on the charging of user fees, which perhaps had the biggest impact in ensuring it became standard practice across Africa. Called the Bamako Initiative, it argued that charging user fees could actually benefit the poor.
Laudable intentions failed miserably
The theory went that, if the local community had a role in setting fee rates and managing revolving drug funds (by patients being charged slightly above the wholesale price to maintain drug stocks) services would be affordable and quality maintained.… Seguir leyendo »
Around the world, human-rights activists fight on behalf of people imprisoned in unsanitary jails and denied a fair trial. These victims often suffer the double indignity of being mistreated by their captors and deprived of basic services. In many countries, these abuses are not only taking places in prisons, but in hospitals, too.
A new Chatham House paper that I co-authored with Tom Brookes and Eloise Whitaker shows that up to hundreds of thousands of people are detained in hospitals against their will each year. Their crime? Being too poor to pay their medical bills. This phenomenon is particularly prevalent in several sub-Saharan African countries, notably Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, and Kenya, but there is also evidence of it in India and Indonesia.… Seguir leyendo »
In the extraordinary political battles in the UK and US in recent months, the issue of access to healthcare has been wielded to great effect. In the run-up to the UK’s 2015 general election, the Conservative government suddenly found £8 billion to inject into the nation’s beloved NHS. According to pro-Brexit campaigners, a year later, this would be dwarfed by the £350 million per week they claimed would be spent on the NHS were Britain to leave the EU. Meanwhile in the US, Senator Bernie Sanders’s extended campaign in the primaries was sustained by his commitment to bring healthcare to all Americans.… Seguir leyendo »