Improving population health and health equity in low- and middle-income countries is a shared and international responsibility. Improvements in health in low- and middle-income countries can only be effective through research into financing of health care.
iBMG is working hard towards further expanding its research themes and educational programmes with regard to global health care. An overview of current key projects and developments is listed below.
Health Equity and Financial Protection in Asia (HEFPA)
The Health Equity and Financial Protection in Asia (HEFPA) project focuses on the effects of large-scale health care reforms in six Asian countries. The evaluation of the so-called New Cooperative Medical Scheme, which was introduced in rural China, is the central issue in the HEFPA project. This insurance system aims to insure farmers against the catastrophic consequences of illness and hopes to provide better access to medical care. Within this project, researchers from iBMG, Shandong University and Oxford University are working together to design experiments that will allow successful evaluation of both demand and supply side interventions that are aimed at improving the programme’s impact on the access to medical care and financial protection.
Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI)
The Community Based Health Insurance (CBHI) project is aimed at evaluating an innovative health insurance system in India that is based on solidarity. iBMG further broadened its research-horizon to the African continent by establishing partnerships with the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Africa Study Center, the Ethiopian Economics Association and Addis Ababa University. Jointly, these partners and iBMG work on an NWO-funded project on the evaluation of CBHI in Ethiopia. Furthermore, iBMG works closely together with the Amsterdam Institute for International Development in evaluating insurance schemes in Kenia. The knowledge acquired through all these projects is highly valuable to support policy makers. They are facing the challenges of addressing major public health issues in the context of ever increasing financial and human resource constraints.
Rotterdam Global Health Initiative (RGHI)
The Rotterdam Global Health Initiative (RGHI) is a Top Service Network of several Erasmus University institutions, the city of Rotterdam, international NGOs and business partners. iBMG is one of the prominent partners in the initiative. Participants from different backgrounds work together in global health research, education and social valorisation. Innovative input regarding global health is urgently needed to diminish the socio-economic gap in health, improve people’s living conditions world-wide and tackle inequities in power, money and resources which impact on health. RGHI contributes to global health through a unique combination of expertise. Main issues within RGHI are public health, building international health systems and international development. Our ambition is to realise improvements in public health, accessibility of health care and health financing. This can be done by working on improving health logistics, by enabling better health service delivery and quality of care and by establishing good governance in health care. Solid monitoring, evaluation and impact studies provide support in achieving these goals. More important, health is a major asset for human beings and it is essential that health is acknowledged as a basic human right. Comprehensive research into the causes of ill health and health inequalities is required to be able to realise health improvements worldwide. Our scope must not be limited to health care only; the focus must also be on historical and cultural aspects and on living conditions. Water management, food supply, sanitary facilities, working conditions and the availability and accessibility of politics and good governance are equally important fields of interest for global health.