We believe that every individual should have access to quality, affordable and reliable essential healthcare services; no one should have to forgo treatment or be forced into poverty because of the cost of care. We are advocates for global Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and are committed to helping turn the promise of UHC into reality. We believe that tailored strategies that align local needs, resources and market conditions must be part of the solution. For more information, see our Position on Universal Health Coverage.
Financing and collaboration for UHC
Sustainable financing is a critical element of achieving UHC, requiring alignment of both government social health insurance and private health insurance. To support this goal, we developed a methodology for engaging with private health insurance (PHI) companies to help shape policy to promote access to innovative medicines and surgeries that may not be covered by government health insurance policies. This process was most successful in 2019 in China, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia. Each country advanced work with PHI companies to establish new insurance policies. In Brazil, a new methodology was tested to assess the impact of potential changes in regulation in PHI on patient access and business. In Egypt, we collaborated on a study to evaluate possible collaboration between PHI and pharmaceutical companies. The conclusions of this study will help inform positive future approaches in Egypt.
Existing pilot projects to expand healthcare access and coverage in Brazil, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Russia and Rwanda are ongoing.
Two new pilots launched: a private health insurance project in Malaysia to expand access to innovative medicines and premium surgical products; and a project in China to improve the case finding and diagnosis of TB, including drug-resistant TB.
2016-2019 Progress: 56.2 million beneficiaries (112% of overall goal achieved).
Progressing dialogue around the world to promote UHC
Indonesia: In 2019, Johnson & Johnson Indonesia sponsored a policy dialogue on “Innovative Financing to Achieve Sustainable National Health Insurance in Indonesia.” We partnered with the Indonesian Parliament’s Health Caucus to host the dialogue in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance. Participants of the discussions comprised members of parliament, health officials, representatives of various public agencies, hospital associations, leading Indonesian academicians and potential financing partners. The forum generated action plans to help shape domestic resource mobilization using the private sector to build sustainable UHC in Indonesia.
Singapore: Given the Singapore Ministry of Health's bold vision to transform its healthcare system from fee-based funding (per visit) to value-based funding (per condition) to improve accessible and affordable quality healthcare with a focus on health outcomes, in 2019, Johnson & Johnson Singapore hosted its third Value-Based Healthcare Seminar. The seminar brought together over 200 of Singapore’s leading public and private stakeholders from the healthcare system to discuss how best to scale value-based healthcare aligned with the stated vision and supporting UHC in Singapore.
Brazil: As the interest in implementing value-based healthcare models continues to grow, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices in Brazil promotes multi-stakeholder discussions and events in the country. The largest of these events was the International Symposium on Value-Based Healthcare (VBHC) at the Latin-American Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare (fifth edition). Johnson & Johnson figured center-stage at this event with a symposium on VBHC that included the participation of a senior representative of the Agência Nacional de Saúde Suplementar as well as Johnson & Johnson speakers discussing multiple angles of VBHC implementation and policy implication in advancing a more sustainable healthcare system.
Playing a meaningful role to advance UHC in Kenya
In 2019, Johnson & Johnson was recognized by the Kenyan Ministry of Health for its “impactful collaboration,” notably in the areas of community health and specialized frontline health worker training. Emphasizing the pivotal role “health for all” plays in global prosperity, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, declared that his country would lead the way by achieving UHC by 2022, eight years ahead of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) deadline. Key elements of the government’s strategy to achieve UHC include building resilient and responsive primary health systems and investing in preventative and promotive community healthcare. Johnson & Johnson’s efforts in Kenya in 2019 and prior years include collaborating with the Kenya Ministry of Health to:
- Co-create Community Health Units for Universal Health Coverage (CHU4UHC) Platform to integrate community health workers (CHWs) formally into the health system and to deliver preventative healthcare. The CHU4UHC Platform created strategies based on World Health Organization guidelines to formally integrate CHWs into health systems and build sustainable community health systems. The Platform focuses on developing policies for training and formalizing CHWs, coordinating funding sources, and implementing real-time digital reporting systems to track data for impact.
- Develop a platform for nursing and midwifery in Kenya, leveraging our experience with the U.S. nursing campaign and successful programs through our Johnson & Johnson Foundation, such as NurseConnect in South Africa with 6,458 new nurses registered on the platform, to establish policies for nursing education and service.
- Launch the Oncology Nursing Training Initiative to strengthen oncology health systems in Kenya that are facing a health workforce shortage amid a significant rise in cancer deaths. Only 36 nurses in the country are currently trained in oncology, while the need is for at least 500. The oncology initiative leverages the crosssector competencies of Johnson & Johnson companies and local partners to help strengthen the capacity of health systems to improve quality management of cancer throughout the cancer pathway: prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support.
For more information on our work supporting frontline health workers, see the section on Strengthening Health Systems.
New public-private collaboration to accelerate UHC in Africa
At the turn of the year, we announced, together with four leading peer companies (Eli Lilly and Company, GSK, Novartis and Pfizer) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an unprecedented program to increase access to community-based primary healthcare for nearly 1.7 million people in up to six African countries, as part of our shared commitment to accelerate UHC in Africa. The partnership will work with two nonprofits that are expert in the community health worker model, Last Mile Health and Living Goods. Each of the six investors will contribute USD $1.5 million total over the next three years. This funding will be matched by The Audacious Project, adding up to an $18 million total investment that will cover:
- Investing in community health worker training: Community health workers can yield a 10:1 return on investment because of a healthier population, increased employment, and lower odds of health crises, and they represent an efficient and effective way to advance UHC. The partnership will support the training and deployment of 2,500 digitally enabled community health workers, reaching nearly 1.7 million people by 2022. Community health workers will be trained and deployed in Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Uganda, and up to two additional countries. For more details, see the section on Strengthening Health Systems.
- Supporting Last Mile Health’s Community Health Academy: The Academy is an open source, digital learning platform for community health workers and leaders of health systems used worldwide. Training curricula for community health workers initially focus on diarrheal diseases, family planning, malaria and pneumonia, with further modules planned for the future.
- Supporting Living Goods’ new Kenya Performance Lab: With the help of the partnership’s expertise and personnel, the Lab will advance the development of mobile-based tech innovations to improve community health worker productivity and strengthen supply chains. Initially, innovations will be introduced in Kenya and then scaled to other countries.