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Half of the planet cannot access essential health services.Indeed, in some countries, people falling into poverty due to the high cost of health care is an everyday reality.In the United States, as much as 10 percent of public-sector spending on health care is lost to fraudulent billing, and tens of millions face significant economic barriers to health care.Clearly, improving health outcomes requires both increased government spending and an end to shady practices that siphon crucial resources from the health system. Around the world, corruption and collusion are institutionalized in many health care systems. The World Bank has indicated that a country's ability to borrow from it could eventually be tied to investments in human capital, including health spending.Until corruption, theft and wasteful and inefficient spending are addressed more vigorously, universal health coverage will remain aspirational.With broad agreement on the need to combat corruption in the health sector, the harder challenge will be developing workable remedies.The world needs universal health coverage; but to achieve it, the world's health sector must undergo treatment of its own.
Bringing gender equality into the global public health domain
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