At the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUHG) 2015 conference in Boston, there was a very informative session on “Financing Global Health”.
The presenters were Maureen Lewis, Director Global Human Development Program, Derek Strocher, CFO Calvert Social Investment Foundation and Peter Mamacos, Office of Global Affairs US Government.
The presenters provided an accurate picture of the challenges involved in financing global health.
There was discussion of the success of the Vaccine Bond which allowed for the development by pharmaceutical companies of vaccines that were not going to be developed. The Vaccine Bond was the vehicle that encouraged the pharma companies to develop these vaccines for the global marketplace.
An attendee at the presentation described a theoretical form of financing for a LMIC. This might be described as “micro-insurance”. The population of a LMIC is offered low cost health insurance for about $10 per person per year. If 5,000,000 persons bought the insurance, then this would raise $50,000,000 per year. Then this capital which is annual recurring revenue could be used to issue a much larger healthcare infrastructure bond of about $500,000,000.
In fact, there is a cardiovascular surgeon in India, Dr Devi Shetty who has done this. There are a lot of persons in India with cardiovascular disease. Many require cardiovascular surgery. Dr Shetty created a micro-insurance scheme. The 4,000,000 purchasers of the health insurance pay about $10 per person per year. If they require cardiac surgery or other forms of tertiary care, then Dr Shetty’s hospitals provides the care. He focuses on economies of scale. His centre provides about 30 cardiac surgery cases per day. This has proven to be a big success in India and deserves to be replicated in other LMICs.