Health research is key for universal health coverage

World health report 2013

15 AUGUST 2013 | BEIJING –The launch of WHO's World health report 2013: "Research for universal health coverage” highlights the importance of research in advancing progress towards universal health coverage.

At the launch of the "World health report 2013: Research for universal health coverage", WHO today called on countries to continue investing in local research in order to develop a system of universal health coverage tailored to each individual country’s situation. With universal health coverage, countries can help ensure that citizens obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them.

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of WHO, describes universal coverage as “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.” In launching the "World health report 2013: Research for universal health coverage", Dr Chan says “universal coverage is the best way to cement the health gains made during the previous decade. It is a powerful social equalizer and the ultimate expression of fairness.”

The World health report 2013 "Research for universal health coverage" argues that universal health coverage – with full access to high-quality services for prevention, treatment and financial risk protection – cannot be achieved without the evidence provided by scientific research.

The report, which includes case studies from different countries, also demonstrates how defining a set of “tracer” conditions for maternal and child health services, with associated indicators and targets for interventions can be used to track progress towards universal coverage.