This weblog features the Global Integration Updates from Member Care Associates. The Updates provide materials to support colleagues in different sectors as they connect and contribute on behalf of the major issues in our world. Feel free to add comments and resources in the "Comments" section located at the end of each of the Updates.
“It is completely unacceptable that half the world still lacks coverage for the most essential health services. And it is unnecessary. A solution exists: universal health coverage (UHC) allows everyone to obtain the health services they need, when and where they need them, without facing financial hardship."
In this Update we focus on the crucial area of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Achieving UHC is a major topic being addressed internationally and across sectors en route to the first United Nations High Level Meting on UHC in New York, 23 September 2019.
"UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care" (WHO website, 24 January 2019). UHC shares similar principles across countries and communities, while its development and application will vary according to the context.
We have compiled several core resources related to UHC. They can give you a quick overview of UHC, show why it is so important, and point you to additional materials for further inquiry and possible involvement. The road towards UHC is not simply aspirational rhetoric. Rather it is an essential foundation and feature of the global efforts--progressive realization--to promote "wellbeing for all" and to ensure that "no one is left behind."
"Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all." SDG 3.8
Some Core Resources Overviews, Background, and Opportunities for Involvement
WHO Fact Sheet on UHC
“At least half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services. About 100 million people are still being pushed into extreme poverty (defined as living on 1.90 USD or less a day) because they have to pay for health care. Over 800 million people (almost 12% of the world’s population) spent at least 10% of their household budgets to pay for health care. All UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
UHC Overview Video, WHO (< 2 minutes) “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to ensure everyone receives the quality services they need, and is protected from health threats, without suffering financial hardship. It's a way of reducing poverty and increasing health security, so that no-one is left behind.”
Summary Infographic on UHC(based on stats from the Report below) “Ensuring that all people can access the health services they need – without facing financial hardship – is key to improving the well-being of a country’s population. But universal health coverage (UHC) is more than that: it is an investment in human capital and a foundational driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. It is a way to support people so they can reach their full potential and fulfil their aspirations.”Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report, World Bank and World Health Organization
World Health Day: Universal Health Coverage (7 April 2019) “Universal health coverage is WHO’s number one goal. Key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community. Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world. But millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home. This is why WHO is focusing on universal health coverage for this year’s World Health Day, on 7 April.”
“World Health Day 2019 falls midway between the Global Conference on Primary Health Care held in Astana, Kazakhstan in October 2018 and the High-level Meeting on universal health coverage to be held at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019. The Day is one of many opportunities to communicate about the importance of equity in health-care services, for not only the health of individuals, but also for the health of economies and society at large.”(WHO website on the World Health Day 2019 Campaign for UHC)
UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage “…the United Nations will be convening the first High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (HLM on UHC) on Monday, September 23 2019, during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly meeting at UN Headquarters in New York. The theme of the HLM on UHC is Universal health coverage: moving together to build a healthier world…Aninteractive multi-stakeholder hearingas part of the preparatory process for the HLM will be held on Monday, 29 April at UN Headquarters in New York. For more information on the logistics of the HLM, please refer to themodalities resolution.”
“The HLM on UHC is an opportunity to highlight the need for ‘Health in All Policies’ and emphasise the benefits of a lifecourse approach to health that spans the continuum of care, from health promotion and prevention, to screening, diagnosis, treatment and care, rehabilitation, and palliative care. Civil society advocacy for the HLM on UHC is being led by the Civil Society Engagement Mechanism (CSEM), which is part ofUHC2030.” NCD Alliance(email 7 March 2019)
See the NCD Alliance’sEnsuring Healthy Lives for All: NCDs and UHC.“This policy brief…makes the case for including NCDs in national UHC benefit packages in order to fully achieve the 2030 Agenda target of healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages.”
See the list/links for20+ short videos from WHOrelated to UHC and Primary Health Care. Examples:
--PHC Overview (animated video, < 2 minutes)
--What is Primary Health Care?(four minute video, mostly Asia/Australia context) “Primary health care is about caring for people, rather than simply treating specific diseases or conditions. Good primary health care is made up of three parts: empowered people and communities who can take care of and advocate for their health; ensuring multisectoral policy and action to systematically address social, economic, environmental and commercial determinants of health; and primary care and essential public health functions as the core of integrated health services. Primary health care can meet the majority of a person’s health needs throughout their life.”
Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit, Christian organisation working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations in the mission, humanitarian, and development sectors as well as global mental health, all with a view towards supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, developing resources, and publications.
Global Integrationis a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world--locally to globally. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based).
Disclaimer: The inclusion of the materials in the GI Updates as well as the recommendations and opinions expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect their endorsement. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of the materials lies with the reader.