The COVID-19 pandemic deranged global health services and dealt a weakening blow to people’s “ability to obtain healthcare and pay for it”, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Nearly half a billion people were pushed into immense poverty because they had to pay healthcare costs.
The pandemic stopped work almost being done to achieve Universal Health Coverage, while even plunging an important population into an economic crisis, the United Nations health agency stated.
An immense gap in affordable healthcare access, combined with income that is reduced can worsen the crisis for the poorest population.
In the initial year of the pandemic, the health systems were spread thin, making it tough to run other services like the general immunization programs and treatment of several other communicable diseases, WHO stated. “As a result, for example, immunization coverage dropped for the first time in ten years, and deaths from tuberculosis and malaria increased. “
The costs of healthcare were going around half a billion people into complete poverty and the number is estimated to have increased, the organization mentioned.
To make it worse, near around 90% of households “Incurring impoverishing out-of-pocket health spending are already at or below the poverty line”, according to the UN agency.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, almost 1 billion people were spending more than 10 percent of their household budget on health,” pointed out Juan Pablo Uribe who is the Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank.
All governments must immediately resume and accelerate their efforts to make sure of the health coverage for every citizen, stated by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who is the WHO director-general.
WHO and World Bank, in a joint statement, requested nations to “improve the collection, timeliness, and disaggregation of data on access, service coverage, out-of-pocket health spending, and total expenditure”