World Heart Federation
Thank you for the opportunity to deliver this statement by the World Heart Federation, supported by the International Diabetes Federation, World Stroke Organization, International Society of Nephrology, World Hypertension League, NCD Alliance, and Framework Convention Alliance.
At the 70th World Health Assembly in May, 2017, governments endorsed the updated set of ”best buys” and other recommended interventions for the prevention and control of NCDs which also encompasses heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension and peripheral vascular disease. The best buys, when implemented, can support countries to reach Sustainable Development Goal target 3.4 of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030.
You may ask yourself the question, why is this relevant to UHC? By implementing these measures, governments will protect health, make populations stronger and more productive, save on health-care costs, and—when they implement taxes on tobacco, sugary drinks, and alcohol—generate revenues that can be ploughed back into universal health coverage. The World Bank Group, which is committed to helping government achieve UHC by 2030, also identified fiscal policies, particularly on tobacco, as a win-win policy measure that achieves both public health goals and raises domestic resources by expanding fiscal space for priority investments and programs that benefit the entire population.
We call on Ministries of Health to engage more productively with their colleagues in the Ministries of Finance to implement fiscal policies to achieve UHC. As civil society representatives, we pledge to do more to support you, our friends in the Ministries of Health, to make the case for fiscal policies and to help you to demonstrate that health expenditure on NCDs is an investment, not a cost.