5 January 2024

UHC2030 Co-chair statement calling for G7 members to take ambitious action on universal health coverage

Photo of seven flags corresponding to G7 members

As Italy is taking over the G7 Presidency this month, we congratulate Japan on its successful G7 Presidency in 2023 and on championing universal health coverage (UHC) with the adoption of the G7 Global Plan for UHC Action Agenda during its tenure.

Italy's G7 Presidency takes place at a critical time for global health. Last year, the Global Monitoring Report on UHC made it clear that progress towards health for all and UHC is far off track. About half of the world's population—4.5 billion people—lack access to essential health services. Futhermore, two billion people continue to experience financial hardship due to out-of-pocket spending on health, including 344 million people living in extreme poverty.

G7 members must now build on commitments made at the three UN high-level meetings on health that took place in September 2023. We call on them to invest in resilient and equitable health systems based on a primary health care approach. The integration of health services at the primary care level ensures that people's diverse health needs are addressed. Primary health care systems provide nearly 90% of essential health services and are the most efficient and sustainable way for governments to achieve UHC.

To realise the human right to health through UHC, G7 members must support national implementation efforts, with a concerted focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised populations, particularly women and girls, for whom health is often still treated as a privilege and not a human right. World leaders should work with civil society groups and other actors to ensure that UHC becomes truly universal and serves everyone's needs.

We also call on G7 members to keep health and UHC high on the global agenda. At the upcoming Summit of the Future, G7 members and all countries and stakeholders can reinvigorate progress towards UHC to shape a healthier, more equitable and more sustainable future for all. Stronger health systems for UHC can get the world back on track to achieve health targets and are a prerequisite for being better prepared for crises such as climate change, pandemics and humanitarian emergencies. We call on G7 members to show political leadership by translating commitments on UHC into ambitious action.

-Gabriela Cuevas and Justin Koonin, Co-chairs of the UHC2030 Steering Committee

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