Our Work
All people should have access to health services without fear of falling into poverty

Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a core issue at the heart of Action for Global Health's campaigning and policy work. Millions of people around the world are unable to benefit from basic healthcare provision because of its' cost. We believe that all people should have access to health services without fear of falling into poverty. For that reason, along with several other NGOs, we have launched a Civil Society Call to Action Please join this campaign and help us make UHC a reality. 

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:

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:



What is 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. 

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: 

Civil Society Call to Action on Universal Health coverage
¿Te unes al movimiento por la cobertura sanitaria universal?
Est-ce que votre organisation souhaite rejoinder le mouvement de soutien a la CMU?

If your organisation wants to strengthen this global movement for UHC and endorse our call, please contact us at: coordination@actionforglobalhealth.eu.


Universal access to maternal health in El Salvador on the way


Health in the Post-2015 Framework: Learning from the Indian experience


Our Civil Society Call to Action on Universal Health Coverage was led by:


We currently send regular news from the Action for Global Health network with information about global health policies and activities across Europe