Universal Health Coverage—looking to the future
Day of Universal Health Coverage
The Lancet "Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is defined by WHO and the World Bank as when “all people receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them”. UHC is central to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in September, 2015, with a specified target in SDG 3—ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.
The SDGs are interconnected but good health underlies them all. UHC has been acknowledged by the World Bank, WHO, the G7, and multiple governments as fundamental for realising the goal of sustainable development. Although some governments were unsupportive of UHC's inclusion in the SDGs (such as the UK), its inclusion created a clear objective, while also sending a strong and important political signal.
On Dec 12, 2016, the third annual International Day of Universal Health Coverage will be marked, and progress towards UHC discussed and celebrated globally. This year's theme is “health for all”, with a call to “act with ambition”. (Photo: United States Mission Geneva/flickr)