Universal Health Coverage
Health coverage is determined not only by the direct cost of health services to the patient, but the financing mechanism that is used to pay for it, this can include user fees or progressive public financing, for example from specific taxes for health financing, etc.
Indirect costs such as transportation, lost opportunities, job insecurity and childcare influence the uptake of health services, as do cultural and social norms. The availability of health services, the quality of care and predictability of costs incurred all influence health care coverage.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is when all people have access to health services (promotion, prevention, treatments and rehabilitation), without fear of falling into poverty.
To gain a better understanding of UHC's role in strengthening the health sector, increasing access to quality health services, fighting against inequity as well as improving health outcomes please see below:
- Download our position paper: Civil Society Call To Action on Universal Health Coverage
- Download briefings on: SRHR, Nutrition , WASH and TB
- Download the World Health Organisation (WHO) Report on UHC 2013
- Download the WHO World Health Report 2010
To read our response to the joint World Bank and WHO Discussion Paper, Monitoring Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage at Country and Global Level: A Framework
To view media coverage on UHC:
So what’s the problem?
Around the world, the cost of healthcare continues to prevent poor people from seeking care while also pushing millions into poverty each year. All people should have access to health services without fear of falling into poverty. This is not only about ensuring the right to health, but making progress towards UHC will also accelerate social and economic growth and is fundamental to sustainable development.
Healthcare around the world is unaffordable for millions of people however states are responsible for delivering UHC systems according to their legal commitments to the Right to Health. This will only be possible if they develop sustainable health financing mechanisms to support strong and equitable national health systems.
To make UHC a reality, there is still the need for greater political will both at national level - to put in practice the reforms needed - and at international level to promote and revitalise a general consensus towards ‘health for all’, facilitating technical support and providing additional resources. Making progress towards UHC will accelerate social and economic growth, is fundamental to sustainable development and is fair.
What are you campaigning for?
We believe that political leaders, health ministries, governments and civil society all have a big role to play in helping the world take strides towards UHC. Together, we must demand that universal health coverage is included in the post-MDG development framework and the sustainable development goals. In order to advance universal access to healthcare, the international community must support developing countries to raise funds for health, reduce reliance on out of pocket payments (especially through the elimination of user fees) and promote risk pooling in the form of an increased proportion of public financing for health spent more efficiently and equitably.
For these reasons, a group of NGOs have been working on a common statement for UHC, asking for greater political support and promoting a joint movement on this cause. The concept of UHC is at the core of what AfGH believes in. Please join this campaign and help us make UHC a reality.
To find out more information please see our Call to Action below:
If your organisation wants to strengthen this global movement for UHC and endorse our call, please contact us at: coordination(at)actionforglobalhealth.eu.