The session explores new ideas and models contributing to universal health coverage in rural areas, especially in low and middle income settings. This includes community-based professional training to improve retention rates, village health teams helping patients to manage their non-communicable diseases, and establishing rural health centers of excellence through cooperations between community-based organizations and universities that attract talented global health clinician scientists.
Half the world’s population still lacks access to essential health services. Access (e.g. geographic distance and associated transport cost), availability (of qualified health workers, drugs, equipment), affordability (cost and price of services and opportunity costs) and acceptability (e.g. users’ attitudes and expectations) are important barriers to access to health services. Rural areas are especially affected. Globally, approximately one half of the population lives in rural areas, but less than 38% of the nurses and less than 25% of the physicians work there. The session explores cross-sectoral approaches to address these challenges.