Universal Health Coverage Day (12 December 2022): ‘Build the World We Want: A Healthy Future for All’

Background Information:

Universal health coverage (UHC) means that all people have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship. It includes the full range of essential health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

UHC does not mean free access to every possible health service for every person.

UHC emphasizes not only what services are covered, but also how they are funded, managed, and delivered. A fundamental shift in service delivery is needed such that services are integrated and focused on the needs of people and communities. This includes reorienting health services to ensure that care is provided in the most appropriate setting, with the right balance between out- and in-patient care and strengthening the coordination of care. Health services, including traditional and complementary medicine services, organized around the comprehensive needs and expectations of people and communities will help empower them to take a more active role in their health and health system.

Investments in quality primary health care will be the cornerstone for achieving UHC around the world.

Universal Health Coverage Day is celebrated on 12 December each year.

It is an official United Nations-designated day that marks the anniversary of the unanimous endorsement of UHC in 2012 as an essential priority for international development.

This year’s campaign comes at a critical time when countries across the world are rebuilding from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic while facing many other crises such as natural disasters and conflict. It kicks off the countdown to the high-level meeting on UHC which will be held at the United Nations General Assembly in 2023 — the final push to galvanize political support and global action towards achieving UHC targets set for 2030.

Key Messages:

Currently, at least half of the people in the world do not receive the health services they need.

About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health. This must change.

The World We Want starts with

Equity

For health systems to work, they must work for everyone – no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. Equitable health coverage puts women, children, adolescents, and the most vulnerable first because they face the most significant barriers to essential care.

Trust

We all deserve a health system we know will be there for us throughout our lifespan. Trusted health systems provide high-quality services in primary care clinics and hospitals, equip and support frontline community health workers, and offer transparent health.

Healthy Environments

Our health is influenced by the environment in which we live, learn, grow, work and play. These conditions can have a massive effect on our health. UHC goes hand-in-hand with empowering communities to build healthy environments that promote holistic physical, mental and social well-being.

Investment

Investing in #HealthForAll is the backbone of a prosperous society. Increasing public financing for health and reducing out-of-pocket health costs saves lives, builds resilience against pandemic threats, and advances the Sustainable Development Goals beyond health.

Accountability

Investing in #HealthForAll is the backbone of a prosperous society. Increasing public financing for health and reducing out-of-pocket health costs saves lives, builds resilience against pandemic threats, and advances the Sustainable Development Goals beyond health.

Useful Links:

Link to WHO campaign page:

https://www.who.int/campaigns/universal-health-coverage-day/2022

Link to a related WHO video:

https://youtu.be/pZHiIGFLN8Y

Link to Universal Health Coverage Day site:

https://universalhealthcoverageday.org

Link to WHO fact sheet on Universal Health Coverage:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/universal-health-coverage-(uhc)

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