World Health Day – Universal Health Coverage
Each year World Health Day is held on the 7th of April and focuses on a different health concern. This year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) are concentrating on Universal Health Coverage for World Health Day.
The aim of World Health Day
Each year, the WHO use their World Health Day to shine a light on an area of healthcare. In 2016 they concentrated on diabetes, in 2017 they started a one year campaign on depression and this year, they are focussing on Universal Healthcare. The aim of their World Health Day this year is to push for Universal Healthcare for everyone all over the world. The Director-General of the WHO states “Health is a human right. No one should get sick and die just because they are poor or because they cannot access the health services they need”, which really sets the tone for this year’s World Health Day.
What is meant by Universal Health Coverage?
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines universal health coverage as “everyone having access to good quality health services without suffering financial hardship.”
The OECD work hard to improve the lives of people all across the globe. Access to quality healthcare that is not dependant on how much money someone has is a large part of that. The OECD monitors and evaluates key aspects of universal health coverage and assesses the sustainability of universal health systems. Monitoring these key aspects can provide invaluable lessons when implementing universal health coverage in other countries.
The WHO suggests universal health coverage can be separated into three objectives:
- Equity – everyone who requires health care should get it
- Quality – The healthcare provided should be of a standard that improves the health of those receiving the care
- Financial risk – there should be protection against financial risk, ensuring the cost of care does no put people at risk of financial harm
It is estimated that around half the population do not have access to vital healthcare, which is why World Health Day is so important. To see the WHO’s key messages for World Health Day 2018, please visit their website.
Facts about Universal Health Coverage
Here are the key facts the WHO have shared on universal health coverage:
- At least half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services
- About 100 million people are still being pushed into “extreme poverty” (living on $ 1.90 or less a day) because they have to pay for healthcare
- Over 800 million people (almost 12 percent of the world’s population) spent at least 10 percent of their household budgets to pay for healthcare
- All UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals