Strengthening health systems – Health coverage for all

Children under five and women living in remote regions benefit from better access to medical treatment thanks to Switzerland's efforts in the realm of family medicine. © SDC

Good governance and the efficient management of resources are key factors in a well-functioning health sector. The SDC promotes the strengthening of health care systems in developing and transition countries. Switzerland strives to promote universal health coverage through its activities both to establish social protection mechanisms and to advocate for access to quality health care for the most vulnerable. 

SDC focus

Financing health

The SDC's support for health sector reforms in its partner countries is based on a thorough analysis of the prevailing political, economic and social contexts. Its aim: to guarantee access to quality health services for the poorest.

A combination of research and action enables the SDC to encourage the development of innovative financing and payment mechanisms for health services. Its interventions are always aligned with national policies and priorities, and implemented in direct cooperation with its governmental, non-governmental and private partners in the health sector. This approach seeks to develop a form of social protection capable of preventing the most vulnerable members of society from plunging into poverty as a result of their expenditure on health-related problems. SDC projects focus on the public sector and providing support to public-private partnerships. 

Governance and participation

The SDC promotes efforts to establish better governance in the health sector and supports both governmental and non-governmental actors in this objective as they strive to develop a culture of accountability, wage war on corruption and achieve transparency in the allocation and utilisation of resources.

At the community level, the SDC supports health promotion initiatives which involve marginalised and disadvantaged population groups. All users are encouraged to participate in the management and follow-up of health services as this helps reduce access barriers to care and leads to better health outcomes. This process of social empowerment enables users to know and assert their rights, and allows health care professionals to better respond to the needs of the population by offering quality care.

Determinants of health

The health of individuals and communities depends on a multitude of economic, social, cultural and environmental factors. SDC projects give priority to cooperation and coordination between different sectors (water, agriculture, education, etc.) in order to influence the various factors that constitute "determinants of health". Its activities also aim to encourage behavioural change and ensure that the poorest of the poor can exercise their right to health.

The SDC cooperates with other federal departments and offices such as the Human Security Division (HSD) and the FDFA's Sectoral Foreign Policies Division, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Context

Faced with growing populations in the low-income countries and the ageing of the global population, establishing efficient and equitable health systems is a priority. However, health care systems in a large number of countries suffer from a lack of investment and poor management of the available resources, with services relying too heavily on external funding. As a result, infrastructure, technologies and equipment are lacking, and there is an acute shortage of qualified health workers. Furthermore, the absence of social protection mechanisms forces patients to cover a large part of the costs themselves, thereby exacerbating the inequalities in access to care. At the end of the day, the economic consequences of a poor health care system are hindering development in the countries concerned.

In its position on health for the post-2015 agenda, Switzerland aspires to maximise health for all in all life stages. The long-term objective is to achieve universal health coverage and take coordinated action on the social, economic, cultural and environmental determinants of health. After all, the conditions in which people are born, raised and work have an impact on their state of health. Adopting an approach to health that involves other sectors such as water, sanitation, education and food security is therefore absolutely essential to overcoming inequalities.

Documents

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, complete study (PDF, Number of pages 102, 934.0 kB, English)

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, summary (PDF, Number of pages 6, 3.3 MB, English)

Qualitative research on foreign health personnel in Switzerland and their recruitment (PDF, 635.5 kB, German)

WHO Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property: the Contribution of Switzerland (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle- Income Countries Health Brief (PDF, Number of pages 4, 274.3 kB, English)

Health despite poverty: a SDC-Sponsored project changes people's perspective Central Asia Project Briefing (PDF, Number of pages 4, 898.0 kB)


Healthcare for remote regions: an SDC project in Kyrgyzstan sets the standard Central Asia Project Briefing (PDF, Number of pages 4, 809.4 kB)

Article on family doctors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PDF, Page 1, 54.7 kB, German)


Lessons learned from evaluations on community participation and civil society involvement in health (PDF, 291.8 kB, English)

Current projects

Object 901 – 912 of 1008

Technopark Serbia 2 - boosting exports through technoparks

01.09.2019 - 31.12.2023

The overall objective of the project is to increase the competitiveness of the Serbian high-tech industry by developing a scalable model for Science Technology Parks (STP) in Serbia and implementing it in Ni? and Èaèak, thus contributing to increased revenues and exports from high-tech companies and job creation.


Sustainable tourism in Morocco

01.09.2019 - 31.03.2025

The first phase of this project in Morocco aims at supporting the provinces of Azilal and Béni Mellal to develop a sustainable rural tourism with integrated sectors in order to reduce poverty, generate income opportunities, create new jobs and improve existing jobs in this region, especially for young people and women.


Kosovo: Corporate Development Support for Wastewater Sector

01.08.2019 - 31.12.2022

On its path to achieving EU candidate status, Kosovo aims to comply with EU standards. Only 2% of its wastewater is currently treated, which results in contaminated rivers and groundwater. SECO can capitalize on previous Swiss achievements for supporting the capacity and corporate development in Kosovo?s wastewater sector.


Quality Food Trade in Ukraine

01.07.2019 - 31.08.2023

The program aims at increasing value addition in domestic and export trade by strengthening product quality and safety as well as trade capacities in the organic and dairy sector in Ukraine.


Sustainable Tourism - Southeast Destination

01.07.2019 - 31.12.2023

This project aims to contribute to the attractiveness of Southeast Tunisia and to improve the income and living conditions of the local population, through new approaches to sustainable, diversified and inclusive tourism. Swiss and UE programmes will work in synergy and disseminate the DMOs approach, developped in the previous SECO project.


Swiss Entrepreneurship Program, Phase II

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

The Swiss Entrepreneurship Program supports entrepreneurs in developing their growth-oriented businesses. They are the key drivers of innovation, economic growth and job creation.


Program for promoting sustainable investment through integrated ESG Standards

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2024

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices and standards are essential for private sector investments, which play a critical role in the 2030 Global Agenda. They ensure that investments deliver sustainable and inclusive development results, driving long-term business success and forging confidence among stakeholders.


AfDB Boost Africa Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab

15.06.2019 - 31.03.2024

The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Lab ("the Lab") by the African Development Bank (AfDB) is part of the Boost Africa initiative that aims at creating quality jobs and enhancing innovation on the African continent by supporting start-ups. The Lab strengthens the local entrepreneurial ecosystems necessary for start-ups to grow and become successful.


Pamir Private Power Project - Phase III

01.06.2019 - 31.12.2024

In 2015, a natural disaster served as a wake-up call for Pamir Energy (PE) and dramatically demonstrated the need to increase the company's resilience. In parallel, PE needs to improve energy efficiency (EE) in order to meet growing demand. The project therefore aims to strengthen PE's capacity in two focal areas: a) increase resilience in a region highly prone to natural hazards and b) increase EE as cost effective way to meet growing energy demand.


IFC Financial Inclusion for Growth

15.04.2019 - 14.04.2023

The Financial Inclusion for Growth Project (FIG) seeks to improve access to credit, payments and savings for individuals and businesses through formal (financial) institutions in a responsible manner. The FIG is implemented by the International Finance Corporation.


Wastewater management Republika Srpska

01.04.2019 - 31.12.2024

The project continues SECO's engagement in the waste water sector in BiH and responds to the challenges of the sector in the Republika Srpska (RS) like enforcement of legal framework, water pollution, coordination between public bodies and skills of the professional staff to manage, operate and maintain the wastewater systems.


Energy districts in Colombia (Phase II)

29.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

Air conditioning in buildings is one of the main sources of energy consumption in Colombia. One way of making the production of air condictioning cleaner and more efficient is to build Energy Districts. SECO supports Colombia in promoting Energy Districts as an interesting option to improve energy efficiency in cities and lower GHG emissions.

Object 901 – 912 of 1008