As a target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 on Health and Well-Being, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) helps ensure all people have access to health care and services they need. UHC covers all aspects of health systems and aims to increase coverage of basic health services, while protecting people from financial hardship linked to health costs. UHC is not only at the center of SDG3 it’s also a major component of reducing inequalities and fighting poverty worldwide.
Reaching Universal Health Coverage means putting in place solid, efficient and resilient health systems. According to WHO, reinforcing sustainable and equitable health systems lays on six fundamental pillars. It requires implementing good governance, just and sustainable financing structures, a fit-for-purpose health workforce, solid procurement systems for medicines and health technologies, a well-functioning health information system, as well as improved organisation, management and quality of health services.
All of those pillars are key to guarantee sustainable access to primary healthcare for all. As a first point of entry between patients and health systems, primary care allows all people to benefit from basic health services while reducing financial and geographic barriers. It is considered as one of the most effective means to guarantee equitable progress on access to healthcare. Its reinforcement at the community level is a key aspect for the realisation of UHC, which needs to be increasingly supported.
Although access to health is a fundamental right, almost half of the world’s population still does not benefit from a complete coverage of essential health services. According to WHO, 100 million people are still being pushed into extreme poverty, because they have to pay for healthcare.
Health workforce is inadequate: the world has an estimated shortfall of 18 million health workers to cover all health needs. The COVID19 pandemic is worsening this trend, with essential health services being interrupted in more than 90% of countries, according to the UN.
While considerable progress have been made in the last decades, important barriers remain to allow access to healthcare for all.
- France to respect the WHO recommendation of allocating 0,1% of its GNI, or 15% of its ODA to health.
- France to allocate more funding (under the form of grants) to reinforce health systems, specifically in France’s priority countries.
- France to prioritise the preparation and reinforcement of health systems, specifically at the primary and community level, in its health development strategies.
- Donor countries, including the European Union to focus their development aid on preparing and reinforcing health systems, as well as equitable access to essential health care.
- Partner countries of France and the EU to respect the Abuja commitments to dedicate 15% of their national budget to health.