On 23 September 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, all UN Member States agreed to a Political Declaration on UHC, signalling strong political commitment to ensuring that all people can receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship.
Having made the political commitment, policy-makers are now asking reasonable questions about how to deliver on these political commitments. The WHO Centre for Health Development in Kobe (WKC) research helps countries think through these questions and determine the kinds of reforms they need to implement. This is particularly important in the context of megatrends such as population ageing, in which health systems need to change continually and adapt to people’s needs.
WKC research focuses on some of the most vexing problems for policy makers, such as how to ensure sustainable health financing with an ageing population. Recently completed research on price setting and price regulation will help countries of all income levels to do more with the resources they have to improve the quality of health care and financial protection for better health of all.
Achieving UHC in the global context of population ageing requires affordable access to integrated services that are centred on the needs and rights attuned to older people. WKC collaborators are developing a new model of monitoring UHC that addresses essential health services, financial protection and effective coverage of ageing populations.
Investing in health systems is not only an investment in a healthier world, it’s an investment in a safer world. WKC is playing a pivotal role in a new global network to facilitate global action for improving the evidence base in health emergency and disaster risk management, so that countries can make policy decisions grounded in evidence of what works.
On this Universal Health Day, WKC is celebrating health as a human rights issue. Health is a precious commodity, and the basis of human dignity. We will continue to do work that supports countries to progress towards UHC, and equitable, accessible, affordable healthcare for all.