A billion people worldwide can’t afford health care, and paying for it drives 100 million people into poverty annually, a World Health Organization report says. The global report says all countries should seek creative ways to boost health-care efficiency and funding, Reuters reports. “For many, health services just don't exist,” says a WHO official.
“As the world grapples with economic slowdown, globalization of disease, and growing demands for chronic care, the need for universal health coverage, and a strategy for financing it, has never been greater,” said the organization’s director. The World Health Report 2010 found that some 20%-40% of health spending is generally wasted on things like costly, unnecessary drugs and hospital inefficiencies; 5% could be saved through more efficient use of medicines.
(Read more World Health Organization stories.)