World leaders have this week adopted a high-level United Nations (UN) Political Declaration on universal health coverage (UHC) in what is described as the most comprehensive set of health commitments ever adopted at this level.
In adopting the declaration, UN Member States have committed to advance towards UHC by investing in four major areas around primary healthcare. This includes implementing high-impact health interventions to combat diseases and protect women’s and children’s health, strengthening health workforces and infrastructure and reinforcing governance capacity, and mechanisms to ensure no one suffers financial hardship because they have to pay for healthcare out of their own pockets.
It comes in the same week that the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners highlighted the need to double health coverage between now and 2030 or leave up to 5 billion people unable to access healthcare.
“This declaration represents a landmark for global health and development,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at the WHO. “The world has 11 years left to make good on its sustainable development goals. Universal health coverage is key to ensuring that happens.”