Leveraging universal health coverage is essential for addressing...
This September at the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) the three high-level meetings on health and the SDG Summit are a unique opportunity to elevate health to the highest political level. To do so, it is vital that Member States ensure coherence across the health-related political declarations that will be adopted. We believe that universal health coverage (UHC) provides this coherence, as all health issues ultimately converge at the national health system level and require all people, everywhere to have access to high quality health services they need without financial hardship.
As Member States and stakeholders discuss and negotiate the four political declarations we, the UHC Movement Political Advisory Panel, call for:
- A clear common thread across all four political declarations, highlighting that equitable and resilient health systems, anchored in primary health care will enable greater pandemic preparedness and response while leaving no one behind, including vulnerable populations and services coverage such as for tuberculosis prevention and treatment. Strengthening health systems, with primary health care as a foundation, will deliver universal health coverage and will reduce inequalities within and between countries.
- Recognition that universal health coverage provides an umbrella for all health issues, and all populations, in all countries, and is essential for poverty reduction and the realization of the 2030 sustainable development Agenda as a whole.
- A commitment to achieving universal health coverage with primary health care as a foundation and as the essential driver to deliver health for all. This commitment should be accompanied with an urgent investment in primary health care, addressing health and care workforce shortages as a priority.
UHC is essential to reach the poorest and most vulnerable. UHC is essential to reach women and girls. UHC is essential to combat inequalities within and between countries. And UHC is essential to tackle poverty. In short, UHC, with a primary health care approach as its cornerstone, is the umbrella to achieve all SDGs.
The challenges the world faces are too grave and too interconnected for us to address them in a fragmented manner. We must unite behind health for all and ensure heads of state prioritise health at all times. With millions of lives on the line, now is the time for coherence and action.
This message is issued by UHC2030 Co-Chairs, in consultation with the members of the UHC Movement Political Advisory Panel of UHC2030.
Further resources: Realising the right to health for all people - UHC is the umbrella to deliver health for all, UHC Political Advisory Panel Op-Ed in Lancet Global Health, May 2023