Health Care in Developing Nations

Nobel Peace Prize winner: ‘Patients must pay’

Muhammad Yunus is not only one of the pioneers of the microcredit industry as the founder of the Grameen Bank, he is also a Nobel laureate.  The World Health Care Blog is currently covering the World Health Care Congress Europe 2007 and has an enlightening video post of some of Dr. Yunus’s comments regarding health care in the developing world.

When Dr. Yunus was questioned as to whether or not poor individuals in Bangladesh should have to pay for health care, he replied: “I think it’s very important to have the patients, the people who are asking for health services, to pay. How that payment will be made…it can be in a variety of ways. But the important thing is they must pay. They must feel that this is a service they are buying so that they feel equal, so they don’t feel small.”

Dr. Yunus later states that payment for medical services can be made in a variety of ways. Of course, there are cash payments, but individuals also can pay by taking out a loan or making incremental payments, or purchasing health insurance in anticipation of the possibility of sickness or individuals could even pay in kind if they have little cash. The rest of Dr. Yunus remarks are just as interesting and I encourage you to view his remarks.