The goal of universal health coverage is to ensure that all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them. This requires:
• a strong, efficient, well-run health system;
• a system for financing health services;
• access to essential medicines and technologies;
• a sufficient capacity of well-trained, motivated health workers.
Video: The many paths towards universal health coverage
15 August 2013 -- Universal health coverage ensures that all people get the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. The goal of moving towards universal health coverage is gaining momentum around the world. This video, produced by WHO, explains the concept of universal coverage and uses examples from six countries -- China, Oman, Mexico, Rwanda, Thailand and Turkey -- to show ways that all countries can provide accessible and affordable care for their people.
Top officials from health and finance ministries from 27 countries joined other high-level health and development stakeholders at a two-day meeting this week in Geneva to discuss ways that countries are progressing towards universal health coverage. Delegates expressed strong support for the ideas underlying universal health coverage: that everyone, irrespective of their ability to pay, should have access to the health services they need, without putting their families at financial risk.
On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution urging governments to move towards providing all people with access to affordable, quality health-care services. The resolution emphasizes the important role that health plays in achieving international development goals.
“I regard universal health coverage as the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer. It is inclusive. It unifies services and delivers them in a comprehensive and integrated way, based on primary health care.”
Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General