Universal coverage, from Rwanda to China

The Lancet Special Issue on Alma-Ata cover

Publisher/Journal: The Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Publication date: November 2008
Language: English


Geneva – The Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO) devotes the entire November issue to health care financing. In one article, authors look at China's new effort to provide health care coverage to all citizens, the biggest overhaul in the world. Another looks at Rwanda's success in covering 85% of the population in a basic health insurance scheme. Also in the November issue is a conversation with Paul Krugman, a New York Times columnist, Princeton University professor, and the winner of this year's Nobel Prize in economics who answers questions from Bulletin editors about the possibilities for universal coverage in the United States.

Another article in the health financing issue discusses the possibilities of reducing dependence on foreign aid to fund health care in some developing countries. Up to 60% of health expenditure in some countries comes from external sources, a situation that is unsustainable and detrimental to local economies, according to the authors. The authors suggest some of these countries can wean themselves from this dependency by cutting back on inefficiencies, fighting corruption and diverting excessive military expenditure to health.

The Bulletin of the World Health Organization is an international journal of public health with a special focus on developing countries