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Social health protection

This Indian family is covered RSBY social health insurance

According to the World Health Organization, 100 million people fall under the poverty line every year because they or their family members require health services and must pay for them out of their own pocket. Even more poor people decide to not seek the health care they actually need so as to avoid the costs they would incur. A vicious cycle of poverty and illness results: untreated conditions affect people’s ability to work and can lead to a loss of income and financial hardship. This, in turn, perpetuates poor health and often fosters the adoption of negative coping strategies, such as child labour.

Effective social health protection systems can mitigate this problem and are a crucial pillar of universal health coverage. This is why German Development Cooperation supports the following measures with its cooperation partners:

  • Supporting the establishment of national, mandatory social health insurance systems.
  • Promoting the networking and mutual learning and exchange between countries that are in the process of establishing social health protection systems (e.g. through the P4H Social Health Protection Network).
  • Developing community-based health insurance funds.
  • Ensuring that especially poor and disadvantaged population groups gain access to basic health services, for example through targeted voucher systems.

Selected readings from the Healthy DEvelopments portal


Social health protection on other German Development Cooperation websites


BMZ glossary

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