03/12/2018 - Access to healthcare has improved in the Asia Pacific region over the past decade but women in low-income households in rural areas still have difficulty accessing care due to distance and financial reasons, according to a new OECD report.
Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2018 – Measuring Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage says that in Cambodia, Nepal, the Philippines and the Solomon Islands, more than three women in four with the lowest household income reported difficulties in accessing healthcare due to financial reasons. In Nepal, Pakistan and the Solomon Islands, about two women in three from worst-off households reported having unmet care needs due to distance.
The report reveals that life expectancy has increased by almost six years since 2000 to reach 70 years across lower-middle and low-income Asia Pacific countries, but maternal mortality is still twice the Sustainable Development Goal target in these countries.
The report also tells that the infant mortality rate has fallen dramatically across the lower-middle and low-income Asia Pacific countries since 2000, with many countries experiencing declines of greater than 50%. But at an average of 30 deaths per 1 000 live births, infant mortality rate in these countries is still eight times that of the high income Asia Pacific countries and OECD average, and two and a half times the SDG target of 12 deaths per 1 000 live births.
Many countries in the region face a double burden of disease, as they still struggle to reduce maternal and child deaths at a time when the prevalence of chronic conditions and unhealthy lifestyle is growing. More than one third of adults are overweight in Asia Pacific, and one in ten persons is obese, according to the report. Among children, 5% of under age 5 and more than 20% of adolescents are overweight. Between 2010 and 2016, obesity rates increased by 33% among adults and 58% among adolescents.
Other findings of Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2018 include:
Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific 2018, a joint publication of the OECD with the World Health Organisation, presents key indicators on health status, determinants of health, healthcare resources and utilisation, health expenditure and financing, and quality of care for 27 Asia/Pacific countries and territories. This report offers a comprehensive and user-friendly framework to help policy makers make further progress towards improving coverage, access and financial protection of population across the Asia Pacific region.
More information is available at: http://www.oecd.org/health/health-at-a-glance-asia-pacific-23054964.htm.
For further information, contact:
Luca Lorenzoni of the OECD Health Division (+33 1 45 24 76 21 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is a global policy forum that promotes policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
Jun Gao of the Division of Health Sector Development of the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific (+63 2 5289830 or email@example.com)
Mark Landry of the Department of Health Systems Development of the World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia (+91 11 43040287 2330 9330 or firstname.lastname@example.org)