Financing health systems for a more equitable access of the poor to health services – Swiss commitment

Bern, Press release, 22.11.2010

This year’s World Health Report focuses on health system financing and addresses the issue of how universal and equitable access to health services can be achieved. It will be launched by the WHO Director General Margaret Chan on 22 November 2010 in Berlin, just before the opening of an international ministerial conference dedicated to this subject. Switzerland is taking part in this international conference with a delegation led by Dr Tim Guldimann, Swiss ambassador in Germany.

The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) welcomes the fact that the 2010 World Health Report places the important and sensitive subject of fair and sustainable health systems financing and social health protection high on the political agenda. Equal access to affordable and quality primary health care is the core aim of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)  engagement in the health sector. More than 1 billion individuals worldwide have limited access to essential health services and each year, about 100 million people are pushed into poverty, mainly in low and middle income countries, because they have to pay out-of-pocket while accessing health services. There is a need therefore for the development of sustainable, equitable and efficient health systems for better social health protection. 

SDC has expertise in the field of health financing at country level, in particular in social health protection (e.g. in Benin, Tanzania, Rwanda and Tajikistan), and supports national efforts to ensure equal access to health care in particular for the poor and disadvantaged population. SDC will reinforce its engagement in the future by contributing to harmonizing bi- and multilateral support to increase technical assistance to countries in this complex area.

Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs