Jordan | News | Consultation highlights Government's commitment to universal health coverage

Consultation highlights Government's commitment to universal health coverage

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H.E. Minister of Health Dr Ghazi Al-Zaben H.E. the Prime Minister Dr Omar Al-Razzaz 20 January 2019 – Under the patronage of H.E. the Prime Minister Dr Omar Al-Razzaz, the Ministry of Health of Jordan, conducted a consultative meeting with a wide range of stakeholders to agree on pragmatic steps towards achieving universal health coverage in Jordan, in collaboration with the WHO country office in Jordan.

H.E. the Prime Minister expressed the Government's commitment to achieiving universal health coverage and health development. “There is the political will to reach universal health coverage as one of the government's top priorities, based on the instructions of His Majesty King Abdullah, who seeks to provide just, comprehensive and sustainable health insurance for all,” the Prime Minister stated. 

In his opening address, H.E. Minister of Health Dr Ghazi Al-Zaben outlined his expectations, including for a roadmap to be developed during the session that would set the course towards scientific and practical steps to achieve universal health coverage aligned with the United Nations's Sustainable Development Goals.

On behalf of Dr Maria Cristina Profili, the acting WHO Representative to Jordan Mr Cecil Haverkamp noted that this consultative meeting was indeed testament to the Prime Minister's agenda for a “national renaissance” as laid out on 19 November 2018. By bringing together all sectors, partners and stakeholders, the Ministry of Health further demonstrated leadership for this ambitious and transformative agenda. This leadership was needed to not only generate and sustain support for a range of critical policy systems in the coming months; it was also critical to ensure that ordinary Jordanians would indeed get to enjoy the benefits of universal health coverage. While there was no blueprint for universal health coverage or national insurance systems, Dr Awad Mataria, WHO Regional Adviser based at the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office in Cairo, outlined key conceptual issues and policy options in the design of successful policies to support this goal.

H.E. the Minister of Health concluded the consultation after an intense and interactive 4 hours of dialogue, by proposing next steps for moving forward, these included:

  • strengthening primary health care
  • redesigning the essential health package
  • shifting from passive purchasing to strategic purchasing
  • operationalizing full autonomy to the Civil Insurance Fund from the Ministry of Health.

He adequately summarized the meeting and feeling among participants, that important progress was made but that we all needed to build on the momentum. 





Key health-related statistics

Total population in thousands 10 053
Total expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 13.7
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 58
Primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 6.9
Life expectancy 74.3

Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

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