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, 102 Pages, 934.0 kB, English)

Swiss Contributions to Human Resources for Health Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, summary (PDF, 6 Pages, 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, 4 Pages, 274.3 kB, English)

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


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

Article on family doctors in Bosnia and Herzegovina (PDF, 1 Page, 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 985 – 996 of 1035

Organic Trade 4 Development in Eastern Europe

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

The program aims at accelerating the market uptake of organic farming in Eastern Europe, Albania, Serbia, and Ukraine, by engaging in a partnership with the Swiss organic sourcing industry for the development of organic exports from the beneficiary countries and by fostering sustainable growth of the organic sector in line with IFOAM's vision 3.0.


Local Government Finance Reforms Serbia Phase II

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

The project supports subnational public financial management (PFM) reforms in specific thematic areas. Based on the good results achieved so far, the second phase envisages a scaling-up of activities to a larger number of municipalities.



Global Trade Facilitation Program

17.12.2018 - 16.12.2022

Trade is a key stimulus to economic growth and fundamental to the competitiveness of developing country firms and industries. With appropriate policies and programs, trade is a major source of employment and enhanced consumer welfare for the poor.


IFC Sustainable Cities Platform

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2023

The availability and quality of urban infrastructure and related services constitute an essential basis for enhancing competitiveness, reducing poverty and environmental and climate change impacts.


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.


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.


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.


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 985 – 996 of 1035