By Economic & Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific
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Extra resources for Achieving the Health Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific: Policies and Actions Within Health Systems and Beyond (Asia-Pacific MDG Study Series)
1. Universal health-care coverage in the Republic of Korea and Thailand Republic of Korea Less than 1 per cent of the population in the Republic of Korea had any type of health insurance coverage before the launching of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme in 1977. NHI initially covered only employees of large companies. It was not until 1989 that universal coverage was achieved by including socially vulnerable groups and farmers. NHI is a compulsory insurance programme funded through individual contributions and directly managed by the Government.
Random surveys on anti-retroviral (ARV) samples in South-East Asia have found cases of drugs that did not meet effectiveness standards (Williams, 2003). The above constraints in physical infrastructure, human resources and medicines weaken the ability of health systems to deliver good quality health-care services. These deficiencies are in turn determined by a wide range of interrelated factors operating at a lower level. 2. INSUFFICIENT SPENDING ON HEALTH In most ESCAP countries health-care services are financed through a mix of government and private arrangements and, in some countries, with external assistance.
Deficiencies in physical infrastructure Health facilities and their physical resources may be lacking, have shortages or operate under unhygienic or unsafe conditions. The unavailability and the inaccessibility of emergency obstetric care and antenatal care facilities in many rural areas are major contributing factors to the slow progress in achieving Goals 4 and 5 in many countries of the region (WHO, 2005i; World Bank, 2005b). Approximately 15 per cent of all pregnant women experience a lifethreatening obstetric complication at some point during pregnancy.
Achieving the Health Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific: Policies and Actions Within Health Systems and Beyond (Asia-Pacific MDG Study Series) by Economic & Social Commission for Asia & the Pacific