Document Type : Commentary
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the World Bank Group, Boston, MA, USA
Milken School of Public Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
Binagwaho and colleagues’ perspective piece provided a timely reflection on the experience of Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a proposal of 5 principles to carry forward in post-2015 health development. This commentary echoes their viewpoints and offers three lessons for health policy reforms consistent with these principles beyond 2015. Specifically, we argue that universal health coverage (UHC) is an integrated solution to advance the global health development agenda, and the three essential strategies drawn from Asian countries’ health reforms toward UHC are: (1) Public financing support and sequencing health insurance expansion by first extending health insurance to the extremely poor, vulnerable, and marginalized population are critical for achieving UHC; (2) Improved quality of delivered care ensures supply-side readiness and effective coverage; (3) Strategic purchasing and results-based financing creates incentives and accountability for positive changes. These strategies were discussed and illustrated with experience from China and other Asian economies.