10 facts on universal health coverage

May 2012

Patients receive medical attention at the Emergency Unit, Manguinhos, Brazil
WHO/Claudia Jurberg

In many countries, millions of people suffer because they cannot access the health care they need, or because paying for health services pushes them into poverty.

In countries where health services have traditionally been accessible and affordable, governments are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to the ever-growing health needs of the populations and the increasing costs of health services.

All countries can do more to improve health outcomes and tackle poverty, by increasing coverage of health services, and by reducing the suffering associated with payment for health services.

WHO is providing support to countries to develop their health financing systems to move towards, and to sustain, universal health coverage.

Read the fact file on universal health coverage

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