The purpose of the study was to estimate health expectancy for the Palestinian population and to evaluate changes that have taken place over the past 5 years.
Mortality data and population-based health surveys.
The Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
17 034 and 38 071 adults aged 20 or over participating the Palestinian Family Health Surveys of 2006 and 2010. Death rates for 2007 and 2010 covered the entire population.
Life expectancy and expected lifetime with and without chronic disease were estimated using the Sullivan method on the basis of mortality data and data on the prevalence of chronic disease.
Life expectancy at the age of 20 increased from 52.8 years in 2006 to 53.3 years in 2010 for men and from 55.1 years to 55.7 years for women. In 2006, expected lifetime without a chronic disease was 37.7 (95% CI 37.0 to 38.3) years and 32.5 (95% CI 31.9 to 33.2) years for 20-year-old men and women, respectively. By 2010, this had decreased by 1.6 years for men and increased by 1.3 years for women. The health status of men has worsened. In particular, lifetime with hypertension and diabetes has increased. For women, the gain in life expectancy consisted partly of years with and partly of years without the most prevalent diseases.
Health expectancy for men and women diverged, which could to some extent be due to gender-specific exposures related to lifestyle factors and the impact of military occupation.
Epidemiology; Public Health; Health expectancy
Urban Palestinians have a high incidence of coronary heart disease, and alarming prevalences of obesity (particularly among women) and diabetes. An active lifestyle can help prevent these conditions. Little is known about the physical activity (PA) behavior of Palestinians. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of insufficient PA and its socio-demographic correlates among urban Palestinians in comparison with Israelis.
An age-sex stratified random sample of Palestinians and Israelis aged 25-74 years living in east and west Jerusalem was drawn from the Israel National Population Registry: 970 Palestinians and 712 Israelis participated. PA in a typical week was assessed by the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) questionnaire. Energy expenditure (EE), calculated in metabolic equivalents (METs), was compared between groups for moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA), using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and for domain-specific prevalence rates of meeting public health guidelines and all-domain insufficient PA. Correlates of insufficient PA were assessed by multivariable logistic modeling.
Palestinian men had the highest median of MVPA (4740 METs-min*wk-1) compared to Israeli men (2,205 METs-min*wk-1 p < 0.0001), or to Palestinian and Israeli women, who had similar medians (2776 METs-min*wk-1). Two thirds (65%) of the total MVPA reported by Palestinian women were derived from domestic chores compared to 36% in Israeli women and 25% among Palestinian and Israeli men. A high proportion (63%) of Palestinian men met the PA recommendations by occupation/domestic activity, compared to 39% of Palestinian women and 37% of the Israelis. No leisure time PA was reported by 42% and 39% of Palestinian and Israeli men (p = 0.337) and 53% and 28% of Palestinian and Israeli women (p < 0.0001). Palestinian women reported the lowest level of walking. Considering all domains, 26% of Palestinian women were classified as insufficiently active versus 13% of Palestinian men (p < 0.0001) who did not differ from the Israeli sample (14%). Middle-aged and elderly and less educated Palestinian women, and unemployed and pensioned Palestinian men were at particularly high risk of inactivity. Socio-economic indicators only partially explained the ethnic disparity.
Substantial proportions of Palestinian women, and subgroups of Palestinian men, are insufficiently active. Culturally appropriate intervention strategies are warranted, particularly for this vulnerable population.
Rather than improving efficiency, the reforms imposed on the NHS have increased bureaucracy, reduced patient choice, limited the range of core services, and led to inequity of treatment. In this paper I examine how the medical profession might help to solve these problems. Priorities must be set for health care since no government can afford all the possibilities offered by medical science. It is essential to forge a consensus of patients, carers, professionals, the public, and government if a system of priorities is to be equitable and just. We also need to be able to measure quality of outcome in health care. This requires consensus on what is the desired outcome and the development of appropriate guidelines, audit, and performance review. This is primarily a task for the health professions supported by management and by adequate investment. Basically, the government must reinstate the three traditional values of the NHS--equity, consensus, and regard for representative professional advice.
Human resources are the most important assets of any health system, and health workforce problems have for decades limited the efficiency and quality of Latin America health systems. World Bank-led reforms aimed at increasing equity, efficiency, quality of care and user satisfaction did not attempt to resolve the human resources problems that had been identified in multiple health sector assessments. However, the two most important reform policies – decentralization and privatization – have had a negative impact on the conditions of employment and prompted opposition from organized professionals and unions. In several countries of the region, the workforce became the most important obstacle to successful reform.
This article is based on fieldwork and a review of the literature. It discusses the reasons that led health workers to oppose reform; the institutional and legal constraints to implementing reform as originally designed; the mismatch between the types of personnel needed for reform and the availability of professionals; the deficiencies of the reform implementation process; and the regulatory weaknesses of the region.
The discussion presents workforce strategies that the reforms could have included to achieve the intended goals, and the need to take into account the values and political realities of the countries. The authors suggest that autochthonous solutions are more likely to succeed than solutions imported from the outside.
Despite the political and economic reforms that have swept Eastern Europe in the past 5 years, there has been little change in Poland's health care system. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has targeted preventive care as a priority, yet the enactment of legislation to meet this goal has been slow. The process of reform has been hindered by political stagnation, economic crisis, and a lack of delineation of responsibility for implementing the reforms. Despite the delays in reform, recent developments indicate that a realistic, sustainable restructuring of the health care system is possible, with a focus on preventive services. Recent proposals for change have centered on applying national goals to limited geographic areas, with both local and international support. Regional pilot projects to restructure health care delivery at a community level, local health education and disease prevention initiatives, and a national training program for primary care and family physicians and nurses are being planned. Through regionalization, an increase in responsibility for both the physician and the patient, and redefinition of primary health care and the role of family physicians, isolated local movements and pilot projects have shown promise in achieving these goals, even under the current budgetary constraints.
This qualitative study sets to fill a gap in knowledge by exploring the health seeking behaviour of rural women living in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt). The existing literature on the oPt has so far focused on unravelling the country’s epidemiological and health system profile, but has largely neglected the assessment of factors shaping people’s decisions on health care use.
Based on a conceptual framework rooted in the Anderson behavioural model, we conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with purposely selected women and seven key informant interviews in three purposely selected villages in Ramallah district.
Our findings indicate that women delay seeking professional care, use self-prescribed medications and home treatment, and do not use preventive and educational health services. Their health seeking behaviour is the result of the interplay of several factors: their gendered socio-cultural role; their health beliefs; financial affordability and geographical accessibility; their perceptions of the quality of care; and their perceived health needs.
Findings are discussed in the light of their policy implications, suggesting that adequate health policy planning ought to take into considerations socio-cultural dimensions beyond those directly pertinent to the health care system.
Occupied Palestinian territories (oPt); Women’s health; Health seeking; Andersen model
Analysing the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) Demographic and Health Survey 2004 (DHS-2004) data, this article focuses on the question of where women living in the Occupied Palestinian Territory give birth, and whether it was the preferred/place of choice for delivery. We further identify some of the determinants of women's dissatisfaction with childbirth location.
A total of 2158 women residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were included in this study. Regression analysis established the association between dissatisfaction with the place of birth and selected determinants.
A total of 3.5% of women delivered at home, with the rest in assisted facilities. Overall, 20.5% of women reported that their childbirth location was not the preferred place of delivery. Women who delivered at home; in governmental facilities; in regions other than the central West Bank; who had sudden delivery or did not reach their preferred childbirth location because of closures and siege; because of costs/the availability of insurance; or because there were no other locations available, were significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with their childbirth location compared to those who birthed in private facilities, the central West Bank, and in locations with better and more available services.
The findings demonstrate that Palestinian women's choice of a place of birth is constrained and modified by the availability, affordability, and limited access to services induced by continuing closures and siege. These findings need to be taken into consideration when planning for maternity services in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
Adverse health effects caused by pesticide exposure have been reported in occupied Palestinian territory and the world at large. The objective of this paper is to compare patterns of pesticide use in Beit-U'mmar village, West Bank, between 1998 and 2006.
We studied two populations in Beit-U'mmar village, comprised of: 1) 61 male farmers and their wives in 1998 and 2) 250 male farmers in 2006. Both populations completed a structured interview, which included questions about socio-demographic factors, types of farming tasks, as well as compounds, quantities, and handling of pesticides. Using the 1998 population as a reference, we applied generalized linear regression models (GLM) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) in order to estimate prevalence differences (PD) between the two populations.
In 1998, farmers used 47 formulated pesticides on their crops. In 2006, 16 of these pesticides were still in use, including five internationally banned compounds. There were positive changes with less use of large quantities of pesticides (>40 units/year) (PD -51; CI -0.60, -0.43), in applying the recommended dosage of pesticides (PD +0.57; CI +0.48, +0.68) and complying with the safety period (PD +0.89; CI+0.83, +0.95). Changes also included farmers' habits while applying pesticides, such as less smoking (PD -0.20; CI-0.34, -0.07) and eating at the work place (PD -0.33; CI-0.47, -0.19). No significant changes were found from 1998 to 2006 regarding use of personal protective equipment, pesticide storage, farmers' habits after applying pesticides, and in using some highly hazardous pesticides.
The results were based on two cross-sectional surveys and should be interpreted with caution due to potential validity problems. The results of the study suggest some positive changes in the handling of pesticides amongst participants in 2006, which could be due to different policy interventions and regulations that were implemented after 1998. However, farm workers in Beit -U'mmar village are still at risk of health effects because of ongoing exposure to pesticides. To the best of our knowledge, no studies on long-term changes in pesticide use have been reported from developing countries.
Malaria control in India has occupied high priority in health sector consuming major resources of the Central and State governments. Several new initiatives were launched from time to time supported by foreign aids but malaria situation has remained static and worsened in years of good rainfall. At times malaria relented temporarily but returned with vengeance at the local, regional and national level, becoming more resilient by acquiring resistance in the vectors and the parasites. National developments to improve the economy, without health impact assessment, have had adverse consequences by providing enormous breeding grounds for the vectors that have become refractory to interventions. As a result, malaria prospers and its control is in dilemma, as finding additional resources is becoming difficult with the ongoing financial crisis. Endemic countries must contribute to make up the needed resources, if malaria is to be contained. Malaria control requires long term planning, one that will reduce receptivity and vulnerability, and uninterrupted financial support for sustained interventions. While this seems to be a far cry, the environment is becoming more receptive for vectors, and epidemics visit the country diverting major resources in their containment, e.g. malaria, dengue and dengue haemorrhagic fevers, and Chikungunya virus infection. In the last six decades malaria has taken deep roots and diversified into various ecotypes, the control of these ecotypes requires local knowledge about the vectors and the parasites. In this review we outline the historical account of malaria and methods of control that have lifted the national economy in many countries. While battles against malaria should continue at the local level, there is a need for large scale environmental improvement. Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has provided huge funds for malaria control worldwide touching US$ 2 billion in 2011. Unfortunately it is likely to decline to US$ 1.5 billion in the coming years against the annual requirement of US$ 5 billion. While appreciating the foreign assistance, we wish to highlight the fact that unless we have internal strength of resources and manpower, sustained battles against malaria may face serious problems in achieving the final goal of malaria elimination.
Drug resistance; malaria elimination; malaria profile; malaria vectors; MDG; MPO; urban malaria scheme
America's health care system is characterized by rising costs, increasing numbers of Americans who lack health insurance coverage, and poor quality of health care delivery. The convergence of these factors is adversely affecting not only the health of Americans but also the ability of businesses to compete successfully in a global marketplace. AARP and other nonprofit organizations are collaborating with the private sector to have more people covered by health insurance and to educate them to make behavioral choices that prevent chronic disease and ultimately lower costs.
In Vietnam, the health-sector reforms since 1989 have lead to a rapid increase in out-of-pocket expenses. This paper examines the choice of medical provider and household healthcare expenditure for different providers in a rural district of Vietnam following healthcare reform.
The study consisted of twelve monthly follow-up interviews of 621 randomly selected households. The households are part of the FilaBavi project sample – Health System Research Project. The heads of household were interviewed at monthly intervals from July 2001 to June 2002.
The use of private health providers and self-treatment are quite common for both episodes (60% and 23% of all illness episodes) and expenditure (60% and 12.8% of healthcare expenditure) The poor tend to use self-treatment more frequently than wealthier members of the community (31% vs. 14.5% of illness episodes respectively). All patients in this study often use private services before public ones. The poor use less public care and less care at higher levels than the rich do (8% vs.13% of total illness episodes, which decomposes into 3% vs. 7% at district level, and 1% vs. 3% at the provincial or central level, respectively). The education of the patients significantly affects healthcare decisions. Those with higher education tend to choose healthcare providers rather than self-treatment. Women tend to use drugs or healthcare services more often than men do. Patients in two highest quintiles use health services more than in the lowest quintile. Moreover, seriously ill patients frequently use more drugs, healthcare services, public care than those with less severe illness.
The results are useful for policy makers and healthcare professionals to (i) formulate healthcare policies-of foremost importance are methods used to reduce self-treatment and no treatment; (ii) the management of private practices and maintaining public healthcare providers at all levels, particularly at the basic levels (district, commune) where the poor more easily can access healthcare services, is also important, as is the management of private practices and (iii) provide a background for further studies on both short and long-term health service strategies.
This article considers some of the effects of health sector reform on human resources for health (HRH) in developing countries and countries in transition by examining the effect of fiscal reform and the introduction of decentralisation and market mechanisms to the health sector.
Fiscal reform results in pressure to measure the staff outputs of the health sector. Financial decentralisation often leads to hospitals becoming "corporatised" institutions, operating with business principles but remaining in the public sector. The introduction of market mechanisms often involves the formation of an internal market within the health sector and market testing of different functions with the private sector. This has immediate implications for the employment of health workers in the public sector, because the public sector may reduce its workforce if services are purchased from other sectors or may introduce more short-term and temporary employment contracts.
Decentralisation of budgets and administrative functions can affect the health sector, often in negative ways, by reducing resources available and confusing lines of accountability for health workers. Governance and regulation of health care, when delivered by both public and private providers, require new systems of regulation.
The increase in private sector provision has led health workers to move to the private sector. For those remaining in the public sector, there are often worsening working conditions, a lack of employment security and dismantling of collective bargaining agreements.
Human resource development is gradually being recognised as crucial to future reforms and the formulation of health policy. New information systems at local and regional level will be needed to collect data on human resources. New employment arrangements, strengthening organisational culture, training and continuing education will also be needed.
The West Bank in the Palestinian Territories is undergoing an epidemiologic transition. We provide a general description of mortality from all causes, focusing on chronic disease mortality in adults.
Mortality data analyzed for our study were obtained from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank for 1999 through 2003. Individual information was obtained from death notification forms.
A total of 27,065 deaths were reported for 1999 through 2003 in the West Bank, Palestinian Territories. Circulatory diseases were the main cause of death (45%), followed by cancer (10%) and unintentional injuries (7%). Among men, the highest age-standardized mortality rates (ASMRs) were due to diseases of the circulatory system, cancer, and unintentional injuries. Among women, the highest ASMRs were due to circulatory disease, cancer, and diabetes mellitus. Of the circulatory diseases, the highest ASMRs for men were due to acute myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular disease. ASMRs attributable to circulatory system diseases were similar for women. Lung cancer was the largest cause of cancer mortality for men; breast cancer was the largest cause for women.
Because of the high mortality rates, the risk factors associated with chronic diseases in the Palestinian Territories must be ascertained. Medical and public health policies and interventions need to be reassessed, giving due attention to this rise in modern-day diseases in this area.
Since 1960, numerous concepts of health-care reform have been submitted to the US Congress and the American public with different viewpoints and objectives. The priority for the US Congress to pass a bipartisan health-reform plan has been circumvented by the newly elected majority Republican Congress. Nevertheless, health-care cost containment, quality control, and health-care delivery concepts have been implemented gradually into the concept of competitive managerial health care. A few of the serious problems in the African-American community are the efficiency and quality of the health-care delivery system and the effects of managed care on African-American primary physicians and surgical specialists. The critical shortages of this group, especially the latter, may create a dilemma in the implementation of a quality surgical care delivery system. The Association of American Medical Colleges, the American College of Surgeons, and other affiliating organizations should become sensitized to the African-American community's health needs, deficiencies, and the rational institution of an equitable, efficient, comprehensive, and quality health-care plan coupled with a sustained and increasing supply of certified, diversified, and experienced African-American surgical manpower in company with family practice physicians and primary care physicians.
Ongoing conflict in the Middle East poses a major threat to health and security. A project screening Arab and Israeli newborns for hearing loss provided an opportunity to evaluate ways for building cooperation. The aims of this study were to: a) examine what attracted Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian participants to the project, b) describe challenges they faced, and c) draw lessons learned for guiding cross-border health initiatives.
A case study method was used involving 12 key informants stratified by country (3 Israeli, 3 Jordanian, 3 Palestinian, 3 Canadian). In-depth interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using an inductive qualitative approach to derive key themes.
Major reasons for getting involved included: concern over an important health problem, curiosity about neighbors and opportunities for professional advancement. Participants were attracted to prospects for opening the dialogue, building relationships and facilitating cooperation in the region. The political situation was a major challenge that delayed implementation of the project and placed participants under social pressure. Among lessons learned, fostering personal relationships was viewed as critical for success of this initiative.
Arab and Israeli health professionals were prepared to get involved for two types of reasons: a) Project Level: opportunity to address a significant health issue (e.g. congenital hearing loss) while enhancing their professional careers, and b) Meta Level: concern about taking positive steps for building cooperation in the region. We invite discussion about roles that health professionals can play in building "cooperation networks" for underpinning health security, conflict resolution and global health promotion.
Some evidence from high-income countries suggests that self-rated health (SRH) is not a consistent predictor of objective health across social groups, and that its use may lead to inaccurate estimates of the effects of inequities on health. Given increased interest in studying and monitoring social inequities in health worldwide, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the validity of SRH as a consistent measure of health across socioeconomic categories in six Arab countries.
We employed the PAPFAM population-based survey data on women from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the strength of the association between fair/poor SRH and objective health (reporting at least one chronic condition), adjusting for available socio-demographic and health-related variables. Analyses were then stratified by two socioeconomic indicators: education and household economic status.
The association between SRH and objective health is strong in Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, and OPT, but weak in Morocco. The strength of the association between reporting fair/poor health and objective health was not moderated by education or household economic status in any of the six countries.
As the SRH-objective health association does not vary across social categories, the use of the measure in social inequities in health research is justified. These results should not preclude the need to carry out other validation studies using longitudinal data on men and women, or the need to advocate for improving the quality of morbidity and mortality data in the Arab region.
Self-rated health, Social inequities in health; Arab region
We examine the role of family- and individual-level protective factors in the relation between exposure to ethnic-political conflict and violence and post-traumatic stress among Israeli and Palestinian youth. Specifically, we examine whether parental mental health (lack of depression), positive parenting, children’s self-esteem, and academic achievement, moderate the relation between exposure to ethnic-political conflict/violence and subsequent post-traumatic stress (PTS) symptoms.
We collected three waves of data from 901 Israeli and 600 Palestinian youths (three age cohorts: 8, 11, and 14 years old; approximately half of each gender) and their parents at 1-year intervals.
Greater cumulative exposure to ethnic-political conflict/violence across the first two waves of the study predicted higher subsequent PTS symptoms even when we controlled for the child’s initial level of PTS symptoms. This relation was significantly moderated by a youth’s self-esteem and by the positive parenting received by the youth. In particular, the longitudinal relation between exposure to violence and subsequent PTS symptoms was significant for low self-esteem youth and for youth receiving little positive parenting but was non-significant for children with high levels of these protective resources.
Our findings show that youth most vulnerable to PTS symptoms as a result of exposure to ethnic-political violence are those with lower levels of self-esteem and who experience low levels of positive parenting. Interventions for war-exposed youth should test whether boosting self-esteem and positive parenting might reduce subsequent levels of PTS symptoms.
Exposure to ethnic-political violence; protective factors; post-traumatic stress
The Late Bronze Age world of the Eastern Mediterranean, a rich linkage of Aegean, Egyptian, Syro-Palestinian, and Hittite civilizations, collapsed famously 3200 years ago and has remained one of the mysteries of the ancient world since the event’s retrieval began in the late 19th century AD/CE. Iconic Egyptian bas-reliefs and graphic hieroglyphic and cuneiform texts portray the proximate cause of the collapse as the invasions of the “Peoples-of-the-Sea” at the Nile Delta, the Turkish coast, and down into the heartlands of Syria and Palestine where armies clashed, famine-ravaged cities abandoned, and countrysides depopulated. Here we report palaeoclimate data from Cyprus for the Late Bronze Age crisis, alongside a radiocarbon-based chronology integrating both archaeological and palaeoclimate proxies, which reveal the effects of abrupt climate change-driven famine and causal linkage with the Sea People invasions in Cyprus and Syria. The statistical analysis of proximate and ultimate features of the sequential collapse reveals the relationships of climate-driven famine, sea-borne-invasion, region-wide warfare, and politico-economic collapse, in whose wake new societies and new ideologies were created.
Epidemiological data on community acquired methicillin-resistant-Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) carriage and infection in the Middle-East region is scarce with only few reports in the Israeli and Palestinian populations. As part of a Palestinian-Israeli collaborative research, we have conducted a cross-sectional survey of nasal S. aureus carriage in healthy children and their parents throughout the Gaza strip. Isolates were characterized for antibiotic susceptibility, mec gene presence, PFGE, spa type, SCCmec-type, presence of PVL genes and multi-locus-sequence-type (MLST). S. aureus was carried by 28.4% of the 379 screened children-parents pairs. MRSA was detected in 45% of S. aureus isolates, that is, in 12% of the study population. A single ST22-MRSA-IVa, spa t223, PVL-gene negative strain was detected in 64% of MRSA isolates. This strain is typically susceptible to all non-β-lactam antibiotics tested. The only predictor for MRSA carriage in children was having an MRSA carrier-parent (OR = 25.5, P = 0.0004). Carriage of the Gaza strain was not associated with prior hospitalization. The Gaza strain was closely related genetically to a local MSSA spa t223 strain and less so to EMRSA15, one of the pandemic hospital-acquired-MRSA clones, scarcely reported in the community. The rapid spread in the community may be due to population determinants or due to yet unknown advantageous features of this particular strain.
The relationship between health sector reform and the human resources issues raised in that process has been highlighted in several studies. These studies have focused on how the new processes have modified the ways in which health workers interact with their workplace, but few of them have paid enough attention to the ways in which the workers have influenced the reforms.
The impact of health sector reform has modified critical aspects of the health workforce, including labor conditions, degree of decentralization of management, required skills and the entire system of wages and incentives. Human resources in health, crucial as they are in implementing changes in the delivery system, have had their voice heard in many subtle and open ways – reacting to transformations, supporting, blocking and distorting the proposed ways of action.
This work intends to review the evidence on how the individual or collective actions of human resources are shaping the reforms, by spotlighting the reform process, the workforce reactions and the factors determining successful human resources participation. It attempts to provide a more powerful way of predicting the effects and interactions in which different "technical designs" operate when they interact with the human resources they affect. The article describes the dialectic nature of the relationship between the objectives and strategies of the reforms and the objectives and strategies of those who must implement them.
The Government of the Republic of Kenya is in the process of implementing health care reforms. However, poor knowledge about costs of health care services is perceived as a major obstacle towards evidence-based, effective and efficient health care reforms. Against this background, the Ministry of Health of Kenya in cooperation with its development partners conducted a comprehensive costing exercise and subsequently developed the Kenya Health Sector Costing Model in order to fill this data gap.
Based on standard methodology of costing of health care services in developing countries, standard questionnaires and analyses were employed in 207 health care facilities representing different trustees (e.g. Government, Faith Based/Nongovernmental, private-for-profit organisations), levels of care and regions (urban, rural). In addition, a total of 1369 patients were randomly selected and asked about their demand-sided costs. A standard step-down costing methodology was applied to calculate the costs per service unit and per diagnosis of the financial year 2006/2007.
The total costs of essential health care services in Kenya were calculated as 690 million Euros or 18.65 Euro per capita. 54% were incurred by public sector facilities, 17% by Faith Based and other Nongovernmental facilities and 23% in the private sector. Some 6% of the total cost is due to the overall administration provided directly by the Ministry and its decentralised organs. Around 37% of this cost is absorbed by salaries and 22% by drugs and medical supplies. Generally, costs of lower levels of care are lower than of higher levels, but health centres are an exemption. They have higher costs per service unit than district hospitals.
The results of this study signify that the costs of health care services are quite high compared with the Kenyan domestic product, but a major share are fixed costs so that an increasing coverage does not necessarily increase the health care costs proportionally. Instead, productivity will rise in particular in under-utilized private health care institutions. The results of this study also show that private-for-profit health care facilities are not only the luxurious providers catering exclusively for the rich but also play an important role in the service provision for the poorer population. The study findings also demonstrated a high degree of cost variability across private providers, suggesting differences in quality and efficiencies.
Uganda is proposing introduction of the National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) in a phased manner with the view to obtaining additional funding for the health sector and promoting financial risk protection. In this paper, we have assessed the proposed NHIS from an equity perspective, exploring the extent to which NHIS would improve existing disparities in the health sector.
We reviewed the proposed design and other relevant documents that enhanced our understanding of contextual issues. We used the Kutzin and fair financing frameworks to critically assess the impact of NHIS on overall equity in financing in Uganda.
The introduction of NHIS is being proposed against the backdrop of inequalities in the distribution of health system inputs between rural and urban areas, different levels of care and geographic areas. In this assessment, we find that gradual implementation of NHIS will result in low coverage initially, which might pose a challenge for effective management of the scheme. The process for accreditation of service providers during the first phase is not explicit on how it will ensure that a two-tier service provision arrangement does not emerge to cater for different types of patients. If the proposed fee-for-service mechanism of reimbursing providers is pursued, utilisation patterns will determine how resources are allocated. This implies that equity in resource allocation will be determined by the distribution of accredited providers, and checks put in place to prohibit frivolous use. The current design does not explicitly mention how these two issues will be tackled. Lastly, there is no clarity on how the NHIS will fit into, and integrate within existing financing mechanisms.
Under the current NHIS design, the initial low coverage in the first years will inhibit optimal achievement of the important equity characteristics of pooling, cross-subsidisation and financial protection. Depending on the distribution of accredited providers and utilisation patterns, the NHIS could worsen existing disparities in access to services, given the fee-for-service reimbursement mechanisms currently proposed. Lastly, if equity in financing and resource allocation are not explicit objectives of the NHIS, it might inadvertently worsen the existing disparities in service provision.
The functions of the health system, according to the key objectives and relationships within the sub-systems that are available to the policy makers and managers in the Health Care system in Bosnia and Herzegovina – B&H, have been elaborated in detail, with the analytical overview of relevant indicators, thus confirming the limitations of the health promotion in B&H. The ability to overcome the expressed problems is in the startup of process for structural adjustment of the health sector, reform of the health care system and its financing. The reform in health system implies fundamental changes that need to take place, in B&H, as a state in health policy and institutions in the health care system, in order to improve the functioning of health systems with the aim of ensuring better health of the population. Reform implies the existence of documents with clearly formulated health policy objectives, for which the state stands, and for which a consensus was reached on the national level with all key actors in the political structure: public promotion of the basic principles for carrying out the reform, its implementation within a reasonable time frame, the corresponding effects for providers and customer satisfaction, as well as improving health services’ efficacy (i.e. micro and macro) and the quality of healthcare. In this article, we elaborated the criteria for the classification of health systems, whereby the scientifically-based and empirical analysis is conducted on the health system in B&H and elaborated the key levers of the system. Leveraged organizational arrangements relating to the economic and political environment, organization and management functions, in connection with the services of finance, funds, customers and service providers, from which it follows the framework of state legislation related to health policy and health institutions at the state level are responsible for finance, planning, the organization, payment, regulation and conduct. If we start from the administrative criteria for the classification of “health sub-systems” in B&H, it is difficult to fit them in a pluralistic, decentralized or monistic, because in the system for each organization, there should be health policy at the state level, which is in the most countries represents the Ministry of Health.
Health Insurance Fund of the Tuzla Canton; Services of finance; payment of health services.
Signs of discontent with the health care system are growing. Calls for health care reform are largely motivated by the continued increase in health care costs and the large number of people without adequate health insurance. For the past 20 years, health care spending has risen at rates higher than the gross national product. As many as 35 million people are without health insurance. As proposals for health care reform are developed, it is useful to understand the roots of the cost problem. Causes of spiraling health care costs include "market failure" in the health care market, expansion in technology, excessive administrative costs, unnecessary care and defensive medicine, increased patient complexity, excess capacity within the health care system, and low productivity. Attempts to control costs, by the federal government for the Medicare program and then by the private sector, have to date been mostly unsuccessful. New proposals for health care reform are proliferating, and important changes in the health care system are likely.
Against the backdrop of a rise in cesarean section deliveries from 6.0% in 1996 to 14.8% in 2006, the objective of this study was to investigate socio-demographic, clinical and service-related factors associated with cesarean sections in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Data from the Palestinian Family Health Survey 2006 were used to examine last births in the 5 years preceding the survey to women aged 15–49 years. Bivariate and multivariate associations between type of delivery (dependent variable) and selected factors were analyzed using logistic regression. Selected maternal outcomes were also investigated with type of delivery as the independent variable.
Cesarean section deliveries were significantly associated with maternal age (35+ years), primiparity, low birth weight and residence area in the West Bank and Gaza. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of cesarean deliveries by sector in the West Bank, but in Gaza, they were significantly more common in the governmental sector.
There is a need for detailed audits of cesarean section deliveries, nationally and at the facility level, in order to avoid unnecessary interventions in the context of high fertility, rising poverty and fragmented health services. Variations by governorate should be studied further for focused interventions.
Cesarean sections; Prevalence; Developing countries; Health systems