Universal Health Coverage


Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as defined in the World Health Report 2010, has two interrelated goals:

  • provide all people with access to needed health services of sufficient quality to be effective;
  • ensure that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.

In 2005, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution urging countries to develop their health financing systems to achieve these two goals.
In 2011, Member States asked for WHO's support in realizing universal health coverage.
The Alliance undertook a priority setting exercise, in 2008, aiming to identify high priority health systems research questions in three thematic areas including health systems financing. Research priority questions were identified through interviews with key informants across 24 countries and through overview of systematic reviews.
How countries develop and implement universal financial risk protection was identified as one of the priority research questions in this exercise.

Draft paper on Universal Health Coverage

The following draft paper describes a project undertaken by the Alliance, that complements work done by the WHO Departments of Health Systems Financing and Health Statistics and Informatics. The project seeks to understand whether different stakeholders across various countries have the same understanding of the Universal health Coverage goal. As several stakeholders interviewed pointed out, the UHC goal suffers from being quite broad and if stakeholders within one country do not have a harmonized vision of what achieving UHC means, then efforts working towards it become disparate and ineffective as a whole.