Summary of the 2023 UN High-level Meeting on Universal Health...
G7 Heads of State and government have just concluded the Hiroshima Leaders’ Summit, under the Presidency of Japan. We welcome the strong focus on universal health coverage (UHC) and thank Japan and Prime Minister Kishida for their political leadership for placing UHC high on the G7 agenda. Championing UHC at the highest political level is one of eight recommendations the UHC Movement has made in the Action Agenda, which aims to ensure that health for all becomes a reality, for everyone, everywhere. We welcome in particular the endorsement of the “G7 Global Plan for UHC Action Agenda” in the G7 Hiroshima Leaders’ Communiqué.
We also thank G7 Health Ministers for adopting ambitious commitments in the Nagasaki Health Ministers’ Communiqué a few days ahead of the Leaders’ Summit, and for supporting the UHC Movement Action Agenda recommendations by publishing the “G7 Global Plan for UHC Action Agenda” an Annex to the Communiqué. We welcome the connection made by G7 Health Ministers between UHC and global health security: “The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted health systems in the entire world, and it has demonstrated the critical importance of achieving UHC, including PHC as a cornerstone for this purpose, by strengthening health systems at all levels.” UHC and global health security are two intertwined goals, anchored in the same health system.
We also welcome the mention of UHC as a key priority for health financing by Finance Ministers. To reinvigorate progress on UHC, an all-of-government approach is needed, and all sectors should meaningfully be included.
Taking place during the second half of Japan’s G7 Presidency, the 2023 High-Level Meeting on UHC provides G7 members and all countries and stakeholders an opportunity to reinvigorate progress towards UHC, with action-oriented outcomes to strengthen health systems which provide the basis for implementation and accountability, building on the 2019 Political Declaration. To achieve health for everyone, everywhere, G7 members must now urgently implement and support others to reinvigorate progress on UHC. G7 members must also advocate for and ensure meaningful participation of communities in relevant government processes and address gender equality and the rights of underserved groups, in particular women and girls.
As Co-chairs of UHC2030, a global movement to build stronger health systems for UHC, we call on all countries to demonstrate political leadership, by committing to and implementing ambitious, actionable commitments on UHC.
-Gabriela Cuevas and Justin Koonin, Co-chairs of UHC2030 Steering Committee