By Dr Ryan Li, Adviser, Imperial College London, Global Health and Development Group
Universal health coverage is about ensuring all people can get quality health services, where and when they need them, without suffering financial hardship. No one should have to choose between good health and other life necessities.
As part of World Health Day, Dr Ryan Li from the Global Health & Development Group who is an advisor for the International Decision Support Initiative (iDSI), which supports countries to get the best value for money from health spending, reflects on a visit to Vietnam and the principles for developing clinical quality standards in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs):
I remember very vividly two of the hospitals I visited in Vietnam, during my first field trip as a global health advisor for iDSI.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day (12th December) highlights the growing consensus that health coverage should be for everyone. On this day in 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person across the world. Since then, governments have been urged to move towards this.
International efforts to achieve global development goals in health have raised concerns about the availability of a well-trained and effective health workforce. As a result, the health workforce has been the focus of many global initiatives in the last decade that have called for urgent action to overcome the so-called ‘health workforce crisis’. Despite some progress, the health workforce challenges remain a critical bottleneck in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) goals in most countries.
By Guest blogger Natasha Chainani
With it being International Womens Day this week, I thought it would be apt to recognise breakthrough innovations in women’s hygiene that have been doing the rounds of social media lately. Even more so, it would be apt to recognise that women’s health need not be pioneered by women alone by highlighting the efforts of a common man turned social entrepreneur and frugal innovator in rural India taking the feminine hygiene industry by storm.
In a country where sanitary products remain a luxury and accessible to those who can afford to buy pricier, international brands, women still resort to traditional methods – often unhygienic and at risk of disease.
To mark Universal Health Coverage Day on 12th December, we interviewed former CEO of the NHS and Adjunct Professor at IGHI, Sir David Nicholson.
Universal health coverage (UHC) improves how health care is financed and delivered – so it is more accessible, more equitable and more effective.
In the final video of our series below, Sir David talks about how the key to obtaining and maintaining UHC across the world is to get the support required from leadership and politicians in order to make it happen.
He provides examples of countries that are already working towards UHC and addresses how IGHI are contributing towards the UHC system in order to make quality and safe healthcare a reality for all. This includes our work for the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) forum on Universal Health Coverage, of which Sir David was chair. The WISH report ‘Delivering Universal Health Coverage: A guide for policy makers’ focuses on how to create a robust, yet accessible framework laying out the key questions that senior policymakers should consider when attempting the implementation of UHC.
In the third of our video series with Sir David Nicholson, former CEO of the NHS and Adjunct Professor here at IGHI, Sir David talks about how the delivery of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) took route in the UK.
The current UHC model has been serving us well for over 60 years. However, there is still room for improvement and there are challenges ahead which we must face in order to sustain UHC in the UK.
To mark Universal Health Coverage Day (12.12.15), Sir David Nicholson provides a few suggestions on how we can achieve and maintain a safer, robust and resilient model for UHC, which will allow us to sustain the current model of care for generations to come.
By Dr. Matthew Harris, Senior Policy Fellow in Public Health, Institute of Global Health Innovation
I never really stopped to think why there was a need for a Universal Health Coverage Day. Who could argue against the need for healthcare? Who could argue against the common sense policy of equal access to health care, for equal need – irrespective of ability to pay? However, despite many advances around the world in providing universal health care for whole populations, there are still many places where people suffer catastrophic financial burden as a result of relatively simple healthcare needs.
There have been many successes, but there is still a long way to go.
Ensuring universal access to effective, quality and safe health care services, without the fear of financial hardship, is a basic human right.
Universal Health Coverage Day, commemorated each 12 December, is the anniversary of the first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, everywhere.
The United Nations has adopted 17 sustainable development goals for eliminating poverty and building a more resilient planet. One of those goals includes providing universal health coverage.
Universal health coverage improves how health care is financed and delivered – so it is more accessible, more equitable and more effective.