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 1009 – 1020 of 1035

SECO Start-up Fund - Administration 2017-24

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The SECO Start-up Fund is a debt vehicle that provides loans to Swiss-based individuals or small enterprises for the purpose of launching a business in Swiss partner countries. The SECO Start-up Fund is fully owned by the Swiss Confederation and consitutes an instrument of the Swiss Economic Cooperation and Development programme.


Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.


Cities and Climate Change in Africa (CICLIA)

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2022

Cities and Climate Change in Africa (CICLIA) is a program managed by the Agence française de Développement for preparation of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects in Sub-Sahara Africa cities. CICLIA proposes to bridge the existing gap between policy-making and actual financing and implementation of low-carbon infrastructure projects.


Strengthening governance and public financial management

01.11.2016 - 30.09.2022

This Program supports the government of Tunisia at the national and subnational level to improve its governance, public financial management (PFM) and public investment management. Legal and institutional reforms are combined with sustainable capacity building to improve government efficiency, effectiveness and transparency.


Transformative Carbon Asset Facility

30.06.2016 - 31.12.2028

The goal of the Transformative Carbon Asset Facility (TCAF) is helping developing countries implement their plans to cut emissions by working with them to create new instruments associated with reduced greenhouse gas emission reductions, including those achieved through policy actions.


Sustainable Urbanization Indonesia IDSUN

11.05.2016 - 31.12.2022

The Sustainable Urbanization Trust Fund (IDSUN) managed by The World Bank supports the Government of Indonesia and selected Indonesian cities to address the challenges of sustainable urbanization. It entails technical assistance and capacity-building to meet pressing needs in urban infrastructure financing, urban management and strategic project preparation.


Water Utility Reform Support Program

01.03.2016 - 31.12.2022

A safe, reliable and inclusive provision of water and sanitation services is of key importance for sustainable development. Beyond the mere provision of infrastructure, framework conditions need to be right and service operators need to have the skills to manage and operate their water systems in a sustainable manner.


World Bank : Corporate Financial Reporting Program

01.02.2016 - 30.06.2023

The program is executed by both, the World Bank's Vienna based Center for Financial Reporting Reform and by the recipient Serbian Government. Its supports Serbia to align its regulatory framework with the EU's acquis communautaire and with international best practice in the area of corporate financial reporting.


Enhanced Integrated Framework II

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2022

The Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is a multi-donor programme dedicated to promoting the integration of least developed countries (LDC) into global trade by mainstreaming trade into national development strategies and eliminating supply-side constraints to trade. The programme will enter into a second phase (EIF II) running from 2016 to 2022.


Ghana urban mobility and accessibility project

01.01.2016 - 30.06.2023

This project, which aims at improving urban mobility and accessibility in Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), builds upon initiatives previously promoted by the World Bank (WB) and the Agence française de Développement (AFD). SECO support will strengthen the capacities of an array of selected beneficiaries in GAMA in issues as public transport planning and traffic management. Besides, a collaboration between EPFL and KNUST University in Ghana will be established so as to train students in the field of urban mobility and accessibility, thus further contributing to reinforcing the sector in Ghana. While most SECO's resources will be earmarked for institutional strengthening, targeted quick wins investments are also planned.


Environmental and Social Risk Management Program

01.09.2015 - 31.12.2022

The Environmental and Social Risk Management Program will be implemented in three countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria). Its aim is to ensure that lending to economic activities does not come at the cost of human well-being, natural resources and vital ecosystems.


Khorog Solid Waste Project

01.05.2015 - 31.12.2022

The project aims at improving the current waste management in Khorog City by combining investments into modern equipment and infrastructure with strong institutional support, while taking into consideration the environmental and social circumstances.

Object 1009 – 1020 of 1035