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 925 – 936 of 942

Kocani Waste Water Treatment Project

01.09.2013 - 31.12.2021

The project will finance the building of a waste water treatment plant in the city of Kocani. It will improve the water quality of one of the main rivers in the country. The project contributes to the sustainable development of the Kocani region through protection of the natural resources. This will promote the economic development of the region.


Improved Water and Wastewater Services Program - Phase II

01.07.2013 - 31.12.2023

The Improved Water and Wastewater Services Program - Phase II (IWSP II) plans to increase the coverage of water supply systems and wastewater treatment infrastructure in four Governorates of Upper Egypt (Qena, Assiout, Minya, Sohag).


Local Economic Development, Phase I

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2023

SECO is supporting a local economic development programme in selected municipalities in South Africa located in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province.


Improving Healthcare Hazardous Waste Management in Dakhaleya Governorate, Egypt

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2022

The Healthcare Hazardous Waste Management Project will realize one important aspect of the Egyptian National Strategy for Hazardous Medical Waste Management: the establishment of centralized incineration facilities including the required capacity building and training. The experience made with the project shall be fed back into the future discussion to revise and upgrade the strategy and into a policy dialog to improve health care waste management in Egypt.


North Tajik II Water Supply Project

01.01.2013 - 31.12.2021

Urban water supply in Tajikistan is in bad condition due to the lack of maintenance since the break-up of the Soviet Union. This project aims at improving the water supply in four cities in the North of Tajikistan through the combination of three components: physical investments, corporate development and consumer participation.


Competitive Industries and Innovation Program

03.10.2012 - 31.03.2022

Competitiveness strategies have recently gained renewed attention by focusing on specific industries. They target policies and public investments, catalyze private investments, and foster innovation systems with a view to growing those industries and therefore supporting job creation.


Partnership on Sustainable Urban Development - Phase II

01.07.2012 - 30.06.2023

The WB Trust Fund for Sustainable Urban Development - Phase II, is a continuation of the existing strategic cooperation with the World Bank on sustainable urban development. It will support cities in developing countries to sustainably plan and manage urban development with the help of evidence provided by the program.


The Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH

01.07.2012 - 31.12.2021

IDH is a neutral convener that brings together companies in a safe pre-competitive arena, acts as facilitator to organize cooperation between companies, NGOs, governments, knowledge institutes, banks and trade unions. IDH kick-starts sustainability programs by co-funding and de-risking private investments, and helps exploring new concepts that will help create scalable, self-sustaining solutions that deliver impact at scale on Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on: improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers and increased, decent incomes for workers to help end poverty (SDG1), promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG 8), improve gender equality (SDG 5), nutrition (SDG 2) and help to halt deforestation (SDG 15) and reduce toxic loading.


Syrdarya Water Supply Project

30.05.2012 - 31.12.2021

In 2011, the World Bank approved a large water management project in the predominantly rural Syrdarya region with a WB-IDA-share of USD 88 million, in which the participation of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO with a parallel financing was sought. The SECO project is a complementary and self-contained operation. It comprises (i) an investment component aimed at the rehabilitation of the Beshbulok water pumping station and its well fields, a backbone of regional water supply and of Gulistan the capital of Syrdarya province (260'000 inhabitants). It also includes targeted physical investment measures in selected villages in the vicinity of Beshbulok- and (ii) an institutional component consisting of a corporate development programme for three pilot water utilities (Bukhara, Samarkand, Syrdarya) and a limited number of selective and targeted regulatory framework measures. The objective of the institutional component is the creation of a sound basis for financial and operational sustainability of the three water utilities.



Waste Water Treatment Plant in Thala and Feriana

01.03.2012 - 31.12.2021

This project aims at implementing wastewater infrastructure in the cities of Thala (15'000 inhabitants) and Fériana (27'000 inhabitants) in the Governorate of Kasserine, Tunisia. The infrastructure includes the financing of the treatment plants, the extension of the wastewater networks and pumping stations for both cities.


Europe and Central Asia : PPP Transaction Advisory Program

01.06.2011 - 31.12.2022

The ECA Program, managed by the International Finance Corporation IFC, is providing infrastructure transaction advisory and capacity building services to the public sector authorities to promote Public-Private Partnerships in Southeastern Europe and Central Asia.

Object 925 – 936 of 942