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Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-09-25) Ikegami, Naoki ; Ikegami, NaokiIn 2011, Japan celebrated the 50th anniversary of its own achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). On this occasion, the government of Japan and the World Bank conceived the idea of undertaking a multi-country study to respond to this growing demand by sharing rich and varied country experiences from countries at different stages of adopting and implementing UHC strategies, including Japan itself. This led to the formation of a joint Japan-World Bank research team under the Japan-World Bank partnership program for UHC. The program was set up as a two-year multi-country study to help fill the gap in knowledge about the policy decisions and implementation processes that countries undertake when they adopt UHC goals. This report brings together 10 in-depth studies on different aspects of Japan's UHC experience, using a common framework for analysis focused on the political economy of UHC reform, and the policies and strategies for addressing challenges in health financing and human resources for health. Japan's commitment to UHC played a key role in the country's economic recovery after World War second, and helped ensure that the benefits of economic growth were shared equitably across the population.
Universal Health Coverage for Inclusive and Sustainable Development : A Synthesis of 11 Country Case Studies(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-06-25) Maeda, Akiko ; Araujo, Edson ; Cashin, Cheryl ; Harris, Joseph ; Ikegami, Naoki ; Reich, Michael R.The goals of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) are to ensure that all people can access quality health services, to safeguard all people from public health risks, and to protect all people from impoverishment due to illness, whether from out-of-pocket payments for health care or loss of income when a household member falls sick. Countries as diverse as Brazil, France, Japan, Thailand, and Turkey that have achieved UHC are showing how these programs can serve as vital mechanisms for improving the health and welfare of their citizens, and lay the foundation for economic growth and competitiveness grounded in the principles of equity and sustainability. Ensuring universal access to affordable, quality health services will be an important contribution to ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity in low income and middle-income countries (LMICs), where most of the world s poor live.