Universal coverage, or universal health coverage, is defined as ensuring that all people can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.
Governments should aim to move towards a predominant reliance on public funding for health, as evidence shows this increases access to health services and improves financial protection for the population. This is a key message in a new policy brief about raising revenues for health in support of universal health coverage.
What issues do policy makers face in decisions about raising revenue? How do decisions about raising revenue have an impact on UHC? The policy brief answers these questions in the context of growing political momentum for UHC, and the challenges that many countries face to increase levels of domestic public funding for health.
Ten country case-studies and a synthesis report on improving health system efficiency analyse various health system reforms and their impacts on efficiency in Burundi, Chile, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Mexico, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and Uruguay.
The case studies cover a wide range of issues including reforms in essential drug policy and regulation, benefit package design, provider payment methods, social health insurance market structure, aid coordination, and human resources for health. The synthesis report provides an analytical summary of these country experiences.
As the world prepares to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, a global coalition of 250+ economists representing 40+ countries are calling on policymakers to prioritize an equitable approach to universal health coverage.
The Economists’ Declaration on Universal Health Coverage published in the 18 September issue of the Lancet, highlights that ensuring that everyone can obtain high quality essential services without financial hardship is “right, smart and affordable”. The Declaration builds on the 2013 Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, which concluded that if the right health investments are made today, developing countries will see both health and economic gains by 2035.
100million people pushed into poverty because of direct health payments10 facts on universal health coverage
Access to services
49%of births attended by a skilled health worker in the African regionWorld health statistics 2013
Increase priority given to health
70countries devote less than 10% of general government expenditure to healthGlobal Health Expenditure Database
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