Universal Health Coverage
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is part of the Agenda 2030 – Sustainable Goal (SDG3) for Health, as a specific target 3.8 for all Member States to “achieve UHC, including financial protection, access to quality essential health care-services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines for all”
With the Health SDG and its nine targets adopted, a mandate has been given to an Inter-Agency Expert Group and UN Statistics Division to agree upon a limited number of indicators to be used for Global reporting on the agenda 2030.
303 organisations including NGOs, academic institutions, foundations and patients groups have reacted with alarm at a last minute proposed change to the indicator used to measure financial protection for health under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
The proposed indicator was changed from:
“Fraction of the population protected against catastrophic/impoverishing out-of-pocket health expenditure”
"Number of people covered by health insurance or a public health system per 1000 population"
What’s the fuss about?
The purpose of the financial protection indicator (number 3.8.2) is simple: to find out if there is progress being made regarding people accessing health services without falling into poverty (if they are not poor), or falling into deeper poverty (if they are already poor). The indicator must also be able to fulfil the SDG commitment to measure progress across disaggregated groups, especially for those on the lowest incomes and across marginalised groups.
The proposed new indicator is not just meaningless with regard to measuring financial protection for health, it’s also dangerous. In reality it could measure as so-called ‘progress’ an actual increase rather than decrease in impoverishing and catastrophic health expenditure by households.
For those organisations wishing to sign on to the CSO letter calling for action to revise this dangerous indicator please add your organisational name and contact details via the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2RZGMS7