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Bhutan has made progress in universal health coverage: WHO

Paro (Bhutan): Bhutan is one of the countries in South Asia which has made significant progress in all dimensions of universal health coverage, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said here Wednesday.

A recent assessment by the health ministry shows that the health system in the country provides over 75 percent coverage, with the majority of the population having access to good-quality services, health workers, medicines and technologies, without causing them financial hardship, the WHO said in a release.

“Bhutan now needs to strengthen efforts to counter the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, especially through preventive activities that are low-cost and sustainable,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director for WHO Southeast Asia.

Highlighting Bhutan’s role in global health, she said the country “has brought human well-being to centrestage of the development debate”.

The WHO is bringing together international public health experts, development agencies and academia to share experiences for universal health coverage at a conference on advancing universal health coverage in South-East Asia being held here.

The conference will share international experience on equitable financing for health systems so that people can get the care they need without being pushed into poverty.