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
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 102, 934.0 kB, English)

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

Fiche de synthese sur les études
[fr] (PDF, 111.2 kB, French)

Recherche qualitative sur le personnel de santé étranger en Suisse et sur son recrutement
[de] (PDF, 635.5 kB, German)

[fr] (PDF, 652.5 kB, French)

Ausländisches Gesundheitspersonal in der Schweiz
[de] (PDF, 685.5 kB, German)

Building Bridges across Time and Space – Experience and Success of a Telemedicine Pilot Project
Asia Brief - May 2013
[en] (PDF, Number of pages 4, 413.9 kB, English)

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

Un seul monde 1/2013
Disponible seulement en Suisse
No. 1/2013: Afrique du Nord / Honduras / Éthiopie / Somalie / Télémédecine en Mongolie / Programmes culturels Asie centrale / Eau / Partenariat public-privé
[fr] (PDF, Number of pages 36, 6.0 MB, French)

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

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

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

Article on family doctors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, published in issue no. 3/2009 of Un seul monde
[de] (PDF, Page 1, 54.7 kB, German)

Lessons learned from evaluations on community participation and civil society involvement in health
EvalBrief – October 2012
[en] (PDF, 291.8 kB, English)

Current projects

Object 121 – 132 of 1057

Master of Advanced Studies in Development Cooperation (MAS) - NADEL

01.12.2019 - 30.11.2023

Mit der Unterstützung des “Master of Advanced Studies“ des «NADEL- Center for Development and Cooperation» an der ETHZ leistet die DEZA einen Beitrag an die Ausbildung von Nachwuchskräften für die Entwicklungs-zusammenarbeit. Diese praktisch ausgerichtete akademische Aus- und Weiterbildung von Fachkräften hat zum Ziel, Wirksamkeit, Effizienz und Innovation der Schweizer Entwicklungszusammenarbeit dauerhaft zu sichern und zu steigern.


Contribution to Education Cannot Wait Fund – earmarked to Africa/MENA

01.12.2019 - 31.12.2021

75 million children in emergency and protracted crisis situations are being deprived of their education and the chance to prepare for a productive adulthood. Yet, education remains the least funded sector during crises. Complementary to other initiatives and established in 2016, the global fund Education Cannot Wait is geared at putting quality education for conflict and natural disaster affected children at the center, advancing SDG 4 also in such contexts and bridging the gap between humanitarian and development. 


Support to the QCPR / Joint SDG Fund for the 2030 Agenda

01.12.2019 - 31.12.2020

The 2030 Agenda calls for a more integrated approach of the United Nations Development System (UNDS) in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. There is a promising constellation of UN leadership and member states’ reform decisions to make the UN more efficient and effective. This contribution will accelerate the reforms through financing of integrated sustainable development solutions by UN Country Teams targeting those most left behind.


ESTHER Switzerland (Ensemble pour une Solidarité Thérapeutique Hospitalière En Réseau)

01.12.2019 - 30.11.2024

ESTHER Switzerland provides a mechanism for systematic mobilisation and use of Swiss healthcare expertise to strengthen human resource capacities for health and consequently the quality of service delivery in low and middle-income countries. ESTHER promotes institutional partnerships between Swiss hospitals or research entities with institutions of the same kind in partner countries so as to address priority needs in terms of service delivery.


Programme d’Appui à la Qualité de l’Education (PAQUE)

15.11.2019 - 31.10.2023

L’éducation au Bénin souffre d’un manque de qualité : enseignants en nombre insuffisant et pas bien formés, matériel scolaire et encadrement pédagogique insuffisants. La Suisse s’est fortement engagée pour la formulation du nouveau Plan sectoriel de l’éducation 2018-2030. Forte de son expertise en matière d’éducation et sur la base des résultats clés obtenus à travers les autres programmes du portefeuille éducation, sa contribution au PAQUE vise à améliorer la qualité de l’éducation au. Bénin


Dynamic electronic decision trees for managing childhood illness (DYNAMIC)

15.11.2019 - 31.12.2022

Every year, more than five million children die before the age of five due to preventable or treatable causes, most of them in developing countries. New technologies combined with rapid tests can improve diagnosis and management of sick children and reduce health costs. This collaborative research project makes use of Switzerland’s knowledge in digital technologies to improve the health of children and reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in low resource settings.


Research and Technology for sustainable development in the global South (SDC contribution to ETH4D of ETH Zurich and Tech4Dev of EPFL)

15.11.2019 - 31.12.2023

Many countries struggling with extreme poverty have expending economies, creating new opportunities for innovative approaches to address societal and environmental challenges. SDC supports the new initiatives of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH4D, ETH Zurich and Tech4Impact, EPFL), which encourage Swiss researchers to work together with research and implementing partners from the global South in developing research-based solutions to global challenges.


CISP: Integral Protection and Humanitarian Assistance to border population, displaced persons, returnees and migrants with multi-affectation in Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador

15.11.2019 - 14.11.2020

SDC supports the Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP) in its efforts to improve living conditions for migrants, returnees, refugees and host communities in need, living mainly along the Colombo-Venezuelan and Colombo-Ecuador borders through increasing the supply of humanitarian assistance, aligned with the Humanitarian Response Plan for Venezuela and priorities of the Governments of Colombia and Ecuador in the domains of protection, health, mental health, nutrition, water and sanitation and access to education.

 


Clean Air Project in India (CAP India)

01.11.2019 - 30.06.2027

India is one of the most severely affected countries by air pollution in the world. This project will contribute to India’s new National Clean Air Programme, with the aim to improve air quality with co-benefits on public health, environment and climate change. Capacity building and technical assistance through Swiss expertise will support data measurement and analysis, city level clean air action plans and awareness raising campaigns to take precautionary measures and mitigate air pollution.


Engaged People - Strong municipalities

01.11.2019 - 31.12.2030

Molodova has the most fragmented sytem of local governments in the South-East Europe. People's dissatisfaction with quality of services is high and participatory decision-making is not common. Local governance reforms launched by the Government are being pursued in a centralized manner. Switzerland will support moldova through a two-pronged approach supporting citizens (in enhancing participation and social accountability) and institutions (in improving public service provision), particularly in rural areas.  


Improving Access to Essential Medicines and Basic Technologies for Non-communicable Diseases

01.11.2019 - 31.12.2031

Access to medicines and technologies for non-communicable diseases is poor in low and middle-income countries. Building on the Swiss comparative advantage (broader access engagement as a country with a big pharma sector), the program addresses all components of the comprehensive framework for access to drugs, ranging from research and innovation to dispensing and use. It will also set up a dedicated global collaborative network for advocacy, information and innovation.


WFP Protection, Accountability to Affected Population, and Inclusion Policy Development

01.11.2019 - 31.12.2020

Implementing the aspiration set out in the WFP Strategic Plan (2017-2021) for a people-centred, needs-driven approach that is guided by a strong commitment to the humanitarian principles calls for strengthening the integration of Protection and AAP throughout WFP’s operations. Therefore, WFP has started implementing a new Protection, AAP and Inclusion strategy, with the aim to inform the development of a new Protection Policy by early 2021.This project intends to further support this ambitious endeavour.

Object 121 – 132 of 1057