Publication: Health

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Haq, Inaam
Wang, Shiyong
Langenbrunner, John C.
International experience shows that in the aftermath of a natural disaster, a transition strategy for restoring and maintaining health care services should be developed while planning for rebuilding a better health care system over the next 5-10 years. A rapid assessment should be carried out to determine the population profile and the epidemiological profile. The health needs of the people in the affected areas should be assessed without delay and periodically reassessed, with particular attention to existing and newly emerged vulnerable populations. The needs identified should be addressed in both the transition and reconstruction strategies. The transition phase should prioritize a rapid restoration and revitalization of an undisrupted supply of essential health care services. Reconstruction is often better led and coordinated by a strong national or provincial authority as this improves implementation effectiveness and equity. The roles and responsibilities should be clearly designed for different levels of government, sectors, communities, and individuals. The Wenchuan earthquake provides an opportunity for health sector reform in China. First, it is better that reconstruction address the immediate key issues faced by the health sector such as health financing to reduce out-of-pocket expenditures among the affected population; provide better health insurance coverage and benefits; and improve leadership of and coordination by the government were evident during the emergency, ensuring placement of health care teams and temporary hospitals to cover affected populations.
Haq, Inaam; Wang, Shiyong; Langenbrunner, John C.. 2010. Health. EAP DRM Knowledge Notes; No. 8. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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