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Past Event

The Impact of Health Insurance in Developing Countries: Experiences from China and Colombia

Many health systems in the developing world are plagued by unequal access to health care, low utilization of services and high user fees. While health insurance is needed to protect families from catastrophic expenditures and a further spiral into poverty, questions remain about the best way to implement health insurance and how to make insurance more effective for some of the world’s poorest people.

On April 15, Global Economy and Development at Brookings hosted presentations from leading authorities on the impact of health insurance in developing countries. Professors William Hsiao and Winnie Yip discussed their impact evaluation work on the Rural Mutual Health Care Scheme (RMHC) in two Chinese provinces. Ursula Giedion presented her work on impact evaluation of health insurance for both the poor and non-poor in Colombia. Presentations were followed by comments from Paul Gertler, University of California, Berkeley; Philip Musgrove, deputy editor of Health Affairs and Mead Over, Center for Global Development. David de Ferranti, Brookings senior fellow and executive director of the Global Health Initiative, provided introductory remarks. Dr. Cheryl Scott, a senior advisor with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, moderated the discussion.

After the program, panelists took audience questions.





Cheryl Scott

Senior Advisor, Global Health, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Featured Speakers


William Hsiao

K.T. Li Professor of Economics, Harvard School of Public Health


Winnie Yip

Associate Professor, Harvard School of Public Health



Paul Gertler

Professor of Economic Analysis & Policy, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley

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(202) 797-6105

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