The Save the Children Fund

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Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
- Primary health care towards universal health coverage

Save the Children welcomes the continued commitment to Primary Health Care following on from the 2018 Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana. We call on Member States to endorse the resolution on Primary Health Care as it reinforces the importance of prioritising Primary Health Care as a critical first step towards achieving Universal Health Coverage. There can be no Universal Health Care without Primary Health Care.
To achieve our collective goals for Primary Health Care we call for a much stronger focus on operationalising the principles of the Astana Declaration and the associated Operational Framework with a clear ask of WHO, Member States and development partners to support this framework, making it part of WHO’s programme of work and ensuring it is adequately budgeted for.
Additionally, we call for more explicit reference and commitment to increased public investment in strong primary health care, including community, that delivers high-quality, accessible services free at the point of use. We emphasise the importance of quality of care as poor and disrespectful healthcare drives the poorest and most marginalised people away from services they are entitled to.
In order to achieve health for all, Member States must prioritise a rights-based approach to primary health care with investment in operationalising meaningful community participation. This requires;
-transparent and accessible information for enhanced accountability,
-reliable tracking mechanisms for primary health care data
-dedicated, trackable, primary health care budget lines in national health budgets
-and dedicated support to civil society to participate in planning and advocating for increased investment in primary health care.
Finally, we would like to see concrete efforts by Member States to bring together different ministries, including but not limited to health ministries, to reflect the multi-dimensional nature of primary health care and social determinants of health.