ALERT – New factsheet making the case for rehabilitation in UHC | December 12, 2019
On the occasion of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, Humanity & Inclusion is pleased to share the new factsheet “Accessing Rehabilitation Services: A Challenge To Overcome”, which aims at making the case for rehabilitation in the context of UHC. Download the factsheet here. The factsheet was officially launched on 6th December, during a webinar […]
On the occasion of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, Humanity & Inclusion is pleased to share the new factsheet “Accessing Rehabilitation Services: A Challenge To Overcome”, which aims at making the case for rehabilitation in the context of UHC.
The factsheet was officially launched on 6th December, during a webinar hosted by Humanity & Inclusion, with the participation of Pauline Kleinitz (Technical Advisor at the World Health Organisation) and Federico Montero (President of the Network of organisations of persons with disabilities of Central America and the Caribbean – REDODICEC). Watch the webinar’s podcast here
Building on the main findings emerging from comparative studies (carried out by Humanity & Inclusion) on the financial accessibility of rehabilitation services in 9 low and middle income countries, the fact-sheet contains recommendations to guide effective actions that can improve access to rehabilitation for everyone.
Rehabilitation is a core health strategy, alongside promotion, prevention, treatment, and palliative care. Rehabilitation aims to enable persons who experience, or are likely to experience, disability to reach and maintain their optimal “everyday functioning”. Due to demographic change, including an ageing population, increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases and injuries, the need for rehabilitation is increasing worldwide.
“In Latin America and in the Caribbean, huge socio-economic inequalities are reflected in unequal access to rehabilitation services” Federico Montero, REDODICEC.
However, rehabilitation services are often under-resourced, undeveloped, and excluded from financial protection mechanisms, in particular in low and middle-income countries. Financial barriers remain key reasons for not seeking or receiving rehabilitation, for many people. Persons with disabilities, are at higher risk of being left behind, facing a 50% higher risk of incurring catastrophic healthcare costs.
“In 6 out of the 9 examined countries rehabilitation services represent catastrophic health expenditure. This is due not only to high fees for rehabilitation sessions, but also to additional costs related to the travel and stay in the area where rehabilitation services are provided” Valentina Pomatto, Humanity & Inclusion.
Costs should not be a barrier to access an essential health service, as rehabilitation. The UN Political Declaration on UHC, adopted in September 2019, reaffirms that universal health coverage applies to essential health services across promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care. As countries work towards achieving universal health coverage, it is important to ensure that everyone receives, without financial hardships, effective and quality health services according to their needs, including rehabilitation services and assistive products.
“Increasing rehabilitation personnel in health care across geographies and placing rehabilitation personnel in primary health care are ways to tackle accessibility and affordability issues”, says Pauline Kleinitz, World Health Organisation.