Universal Health Coverage for ASEAN: Is it possible?
AbstractGeography, society, economic development, and health outcomes vary much among theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The health systems, structure and servicesvary considerably. As a consequence, the develpment for a Universal Health Coverage (UHC)in these countries also diverges. The objective of this article is to study the development towardthe UHC in ASEAN countries and the barriers that hinder the progress. Online and manualsearch methods were used to gather the information and ‘snowball’ further data. It is foundthat, in general, ASEAN countries have made good progress toward UHC. However, there aremajor barriers to all the countries in achieving UHC, namely 1) financial restrictions; 2) supplyside limitations: and 3) the increasing problems of non-communicable diseases, continuinginfectious diseases, and recurrence of potentially pandemic infectious illnesses. Whereas theminor obstacles are the divergence of 1) language; and 2) cultures. The ASEAN EconomicCommunity’s (AEC) aim of regional economic incorporation and a single market by 2015grants both prospects and tasks for UHC. Healthcare services have become more accessiblebut health and healthcare inequities will likely go downhill as better-off citizens of membercountries might have more benefits from the liberalization of trade plan in health. ASEAN hasnoteworthy prospective to become a power for better health in the region. It is hoped that allASEAN populations can enjoy greater health and safety standards, complete social security,and enhanced health status.
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