The Save the Children Fund

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Meeting: 
144th session of the Executive Board<br>24 January - 1 February 2019
Agenda Item: 
5.5.3 Preparation for the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on universal health coverage
Statement: 

The HLM is a unique opportunity to galvanise political action to drive progress on UHC. We encourage governments & partners to make sure it is a transformational moment.

Governments have the responsibility to ensure citizens have access to essential quality healthcare, free at the point of use, prioritising those left furthest behind. We commend countries that are making progress on UHC. However, we are concerned that half the world’s population lack access to essential health services & increasing numbers face catastrophic out-of-pocket health payments. Our projections show that in 2030, 1.2bill people will spend at least 10% of their household budget on healthcare & 282mill will spend 25%.

Governments need to increase domestic health expenditure towards a target of 5% of GDP, prioritising primary healthcare as the 1st step towards UHC & ensuring access to services for the most deprived & marginalised. Donors and development partners must ensure their aid is transformative, supports nationally-driven UHC plans, & stop fragmentation it causes at country level.

We call on Member states to:
-Commit to high-level engagement in the HLM & announce, in advance, concrete actions you will take to make progress on UHC, including increasing domestic health expenditure
-Endorse a WHA resolution & HLM Political Declaration with bold commitments on increasing domestic investment, eliminating out-of-pocket payments, prioritising equitable primary healthcare, full integration of nutrition interventions, & accountability
-Ensure the HLM consultative process includes strong civil society engagement

We call on WHO & development partners to:
-Enhance support to countries to develop nationally-driven UHC plans & support countries to increase domestic fiscal space for health
-Work with countries to establish strong national & global accountability mechanisms to monitor progress on UHC, including through UHC2030 & CSO engagement