The seventh of April is the World Health Day. Traditionally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) dedicates this day to different major health topic every year. This year's slogan – #HealthToAll! It has finally been agreed that health care services should be available to all. What is missing?
With this year's World Health Day slogan Health to All, the WHO invites everyone – politicians, civil society organisations, the public and the media – to contribute to the publicity campaign of the general health insurance in their home countries. The aim is to make high-quality health care services available to anyone and everyone, where in case of illness, people no longer need to worry whether they can afford to pay for treatment.
Jūratė Sabalienė, Director of NHIF. NHIF photo.
Health insurance scheme in Lithuania is based on two key principles – universality and solidarity. So we celebrate this day by reiterating the importance of the universal insurance in our country. Universality of health insurance means the right to receive health care services when they are needed. This right is obtained in exchange for the duty to pay health insurance contributions. These contributions as well as those paid for state-insured persons are accumulated in the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund budget and used to pay for health care services.
I would also like to draw attention to the solidarity principle, which means that equal access to health care services is ensured to all, regardless of the amount of contributions paid. In other words, the most important thing is to make sure that persons covered by the compulsory health insurance receive the services when they are needed without suffering any financial hardship.
In Lithuania, respect for human health is enshrined in the Constitution, while the universality and solidarity principles – in the Law on Health Insurance and other legislation. By means of the compulsory health insurance scheme, the State guarantees and provides that the required medical assistance will be provided when needed without exposing individuals to financial obstacles and hardship.
Compulsory health insurance scheme benefits our society regardless of the humble means available for the financing of health care as compared to other European countries. The mission of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) under the Ministry of Health is to provide patients with every possibility to receive the services or, as NHIF sees it, to improve payment for health care services and encourage medical establishments to work more effectively.
Best wishes on the World Health Day to you all – politicians working in the field of health care, medical staff, patients, and everyone else. Let's discuss and look for the best solutions, while working towards healthier Lithuania!
Jūratė Sabalienė, Director of NHIF
WHO facts and statistics:
- Health is a human right. No one should get sick and die just because they are poor, or because they cannot access the health services they need.
- Universal health coverage is a political choice. It takes vision, courage and long-term thinking. But the payoff is a safer, fairer and healthier world for everyone.
- Nearly 20 million infants do not receive the vaccinations they need;
- About 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty, forced to survive on less than $1.90 a day, because they have to pay for health services;
- Roughly 1 in 10 people worldwide spend at least 10% of their household budgets on health expenses, thereby incurring "catastrophic expenditures".
WHO supports countries that invest in the universal health coverage, since it is also an investment in the country's future. For more information, please visit WHO portal on the universal health coverage.
NHIF invites you:
Your questions are welcome by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: local 8 700 88888, international +370 5 236 4114