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 937 – 948 of 994

Agri-Processing Resource Efficiency

15.11.2018 - 31.12.2022

The Agri-Processing Resource Efficiency (APRE) project implemented by IFC in South Africa aims at improving water use efficiency and productivity as well as energy use among companies in the agri-processing industry, in order to reduce operational costs and mitigate climate change risks.


Supply Chain Finance Vietnam

01.06.2018 - 31.05.2023

The Supply Chain Finance (SCF) program in Vietnam facilitates SME's access to finance, allowing them to growth production and increase productivity. This is key as about half of the SMEs in Vietnam are un- or underserved by formal financial institutions.


Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, 2018-2022

01.05.2018 - 30.06.2022

The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility is a World-Bank managed, multi-donor technical assistance facility aimed at creating an enabling environment for private sector investment in infrastructure, with the ultimate aim of improving lives through a better access to quality infrastructure services.


UN Trade Cluster Myanmar

01.05.2018 - 30.04.2022

The UN Trade Cluster country project Myanmar will be implemented in Shan State (Inle Lake area) by UNCTAD, ILO, UNIDO and ITC. The project provides for two outcomes in the area of horticulture supply and sustainable tourism development, while preparing the necessary conditions for selected value chains linking both sectors (backward linkages).


IFC: Green Bond Technical Assistance Program

21.04.2018 - 31.12.2023

The Program supports the creation of new markets for climate finance in emerging markets. The program contributes to developing green bond policies, providing training programs for bankers, and facilitating the adoption of the Green Bond Principles and international best practices and market standards.


Hayenna: Integrated Urban Development Project in Egypt

18.04.2018 - 31.03.2024

The project shall enhance the organizational capacity of local government units to better manage their land and linked local revenues. Furthermore, the project activities shall also support ongoing efforts aimed at improving the related legal and institutional frameworks at the national level. The project is implemented by UN-Habitat.


Biotrade Facilitation Programme Phase IV

01.04.2018 - 31.03.2022

The aim of the continued support to the Global BioTrade Facilitation Program, which is part of UNCTAD's BioTrade Initiative, is to synchronise and leverage results from previous phases and thus contribute that the BioTrade approach can further unfold its potential for biodiversity conservation as well as poverty reduction at the same time.


Platform Renewable Energies REPIC

01.04.2018 - 31.12.2022

REPIC is the platform of four offices of the Swiss Confederation (SECO, SDC, FOEN, SFOE). It supports projects for the transfer of Swiss know-how and technologies in developing countries and countries in transition with the aim of disseminating renewable energies and increasing the energy and ressource efficiency.


Programme for improved water services in provincial cities of Peru

01.04.2018 - 30.06.2022

The programme for improved water services in provincial cities of Peru aims to improve water supply for more than one million citizens of Trujillo and Huanuco. It will support the establishment of critical infrastructure combined with corporate development measures to improve quality of service delivery.


Swiss Sustainable Tourism and Competitiveness Project

01.04.2018 - 31.03.2022

In order to foster sustainable and inclusive growth in the tourism sector, SECO supports Vietnam with this Project at the micro, meso and macro level to strengthen international competitiveness, skills development and preparing favourable framework conditions.


Global Program for Intellectual Property Rights

01.03.2018 - 31.12.2024

Intellectual Property (IP) regimes are central to promoting innovation and the development of new goods, services and production methods. IP provides the incentive necessary to pursue further research and development, and creative works. Insofar, it is part of a sound foundation for a prosperous private sector and today's world trade system.


Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa

01.03.2018 - 31.12.2022

The Programme supports the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa, the objective of which is to join public and private forces and promote sustainability in the cocoa value chain. Launched in 2017, the multistakeholder initiative is driven by chocolate manufacturers, traders, retailers, NGOs, research and the federal government represented by SECO.

Object 937 – 948 of 994