The World Health Organization (WHO) is the premier organization looking at health issues around the world. When looking at the pattern of health care around the world, the WHO World Health Report 2008 found some common contradictions.
People with the most means – whose needs for health care are often less – consume the most care, whereas those with the least means and greatest health problems consume the least. Public spending on health services most often benefits the rich more than the poor in high- and low-income countries alike.
Wherever people lack social protection and payment for care is largely out-of-pocket at the point of service, they can be confronted with catastrophic expenses. Over 100 million people annually fall into poverty because they have to pay for health care.
Fragmented and fragmenting care
The excessive specialization of health-care providers and the narrow focus of many disease control programs discourage a holistic approach to the individuals and the families they deal with and do not appreciate the need for continuity in care. Health services for poor and marginalized groups are often highly fragmented and severely under-resourced, while development aid often adds to the fragmentation.
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