Stichting Health Action International

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

Thank you chair, honorable representatives, Ladies & Gentlemen – without universal access to quality assured essential medicines, the ambition of Universal Health Coverage, that leaves no-one behind, will fail. That’s it.
Access to medicines depends not only on skilled healthcare personnel but also, among other factors, delivery and stocking mechanisms that only a well-functioning health system can guarantee.
The unaffordable price of many treatments is a major obstacle to access, and authorities should be able to look for equivalent or alternative treatments by any means necessary. The use of TRIPS flexibilities is one such mechanism that increases competition, lowers prices and improves access to medicines, and it should be endorsed and mainstreamed to consolidate and expand UHC.
Women’s sexual and reproductive rights, including family planning, must be at the core of UHC; there is no right to health without women rights. In a moment were women’s reproductive rights are under attack we will not be gagged.
But these three components, are something only a well-funded and well-informed health systems can guarantee, through strong government political stewardship, rooted and supported by the global leadership shown to us here by WHO.