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According to the Tracking Universal Health Coverage Global Monitoring Report 2017 published on UHC Day 12 December, over 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household budgets to pay for health care and at least half the world’s people cannot obtain the essential health services they need.
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) resolution “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” emphasises that Universal health coverage (UHC) is the core driver of the SDG 3. Failure to ensure quality and affordable essential health services means failure to meet the SDG 3 by 2030. There are only 13 years left to achieve this ambitious goal.
The seventh meeting of the Inter-agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDGs) was held from 9 to 12 April 2018 in Vienna, Austria. The IAEG-SDGs was established by the Statistical Commission at its 46th session to develop an indicator framework for the monitoring of the Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development at the global level, and to support its implementation. In the Vienna meeting, IAEG-SDGs reviewed the methodology of SDG indicator 3.8.1.
SDG indicator 3.8.1 approved by the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) and United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2016 is ‘Coverage of essential health services, defined as the average coverage of essential services based on tracer interventions that include reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and service capacity and access, among the general and the most disadvantaged population)’.
The methodology and country data of the 3.8.1 indicator have gone through an official country consultation with all WHO Member States in 2016 to publish the 2017 Global Monitoring Report. Based on the monitoring report 2017 , WHO submitted the revised proposal of the indicator 3.8.1 and UHC2030 advocated the proposal to IAEG-SDGs, and finally the IAEG-SDGs agreed to use data from the monitoring report to officially report on the SDG indicators..
Monitoring of target 3.8 is incomplete unless it tracks two aspects of UHC, financial protection and coverage of essential health services. UHC2030 will advocate implementation of the UHC indicator framework to encourage governments to measure both 3.8.1 and 3.8.2 indicators together to track the progress of target 3.8, and also work closely with civil societies to use the official SDG indicator data to make government accountable to people’s rights to health.