UHC and health system

About universal health coverage

Universal health coverage (UHC) means that all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.

Achieving UHC is one of the targets the nations of the world set when adopting the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Countries that advance towards UHC will make progress towards the other health-related targets, and towards the other Sustainable Development Goals. 

Moving towards UHC requires strengthening health systems in all countries. Robust financing structures are key, as are the availability, accessibility, and capacity of health workers to deliver quality people-centred integrated care. Good governance, sound systems of procurement and supply of medicines and health technologies and well-functioning health information systems are other critical elements.

WHO is supporting countries to develop their health systems to move towards and sustain UHC, and to monitor progress. It does so by collaborating with many different partners in different situations and for different purposes to advance UHC around the world.

 


Please click here to learn more about WHO’s work to achieve universal health coverage  

Strong health systems are needed to ensure individual and global public health security. In 2015, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa highlighted the importance of health systems on the frontline of preparedness for epidemic surveillance and response.

We must ensure the capacity of health systems to take on public health emergencies, and continue to provide essential care under even the most challenging circumstances. Strengthening local, provincial and national capacities under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) is therefore a critical element of UHC.

By investing in health emergency preparedness, a key component of UHC, pandemics and health epidemics can be at best prevented, and at least detected and responded to quickly, minimizing their health, and economic impact.

With a health system leading intersectoral efforts for preparedness, an epidemic never becomes a pandemic, an outbreak does not become an epidemic, and outbreaks can possibly be prevented.

The Strategic Partnership for International Health Regulations (2005) and Health Security (SPH) underscores the need to support Member States to build and sustain strong national, regional and global frameworks for multi-sectoral collaboration and partnerships. These increase the effectiveness of health security governance and help strengthen health systems, making SPH an important tool to achieve universal health coverage.

SPH is currently mapping the resources that are relevant for universal health coverage, IHR (2005) and global health security.     

  Measuring the UHC

Monitoring progress towards UHC should focus on 2 things:

  • The proportion of a population that can access essential quality health services. Currently, at least half of the world’s population still does not have full coverage of essential health services.
  • The proportion of the population that spends a large amount of household income on health.

Together with the World Bank, WHO has developed a framework to track the progress of UHC by monitoring both categories, taking into account both the overall level and the extent to which UHC is equitable, offering service coverage and financial protection to all people within a population, such as the poor or those living in remote rural areas. One of the 16 overall indicators towards achieving UHC is health security: compliance with the International Health Regulations.

 For more information on indicators, please click here 

 

Universal Health Coverage and Health System

Region Country UHC 2030 UHC partnership NHPSP HIPC Emergency grade WHO FCS WHO HRP CADRI
Eastern Mediterranean Region Occupied Palestinian Territory
African Region United Republic of Tanzania (Zanzibar) NO NO Available YES Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO NO NO
African Region Zimbabwe NO NO Available NO YES NO YES
African Region Zambia YES YES Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Yemen NO YES Available NO Grade 3 - Major/Maximal Response YES YES NO
Region of the Americas Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Vanuatu NO NO Out of date NO NO NO
European Region Uzbekistan NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Uruguay NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland YES NO Not available NO NO NO NO
European Region Ukraine NO YES Available NO Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO YES NO
Western Pacific Region Tuvalu NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Turkey NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
Region of the Americas Trinidad and Tobago NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Tonga NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Togo YES YES Available YES NO YES NO
South-East Asia Region Timor-Leste NO YES Available NO NO NO NO
European Region The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
South-East Asia Region Thailand NO YES Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Tajikistan NO YES Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Syrian Arab Republic NO NO Not available NO Grade 3 - Major/Maximal Response YES YES NO
European Region Switzerland NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Sweden YES NO Available NO NO NO YES
African Region Kingdom of Eswatini NO NO Available NO NO YES NO
Region of the Americas Suriname NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region Sri Lanka NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Spain YES NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
African Region South Sudan NO YES Available NO Grade 3 - Major/Maximal Response YES YES NO
African Region South Africa YES YES Available YES NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Solomon Islands NO NO Available NO YES NO NO
European Region Slovenia NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Slovakia NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Singapore NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Seychelles NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Serbia NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
African Region Sao Tome and Principe NO NO Out of date YES NO NO YES
European Region San Marino NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Samoa NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Saint Vincent and the Grenadines NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Saint Lucia NO NO Not available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Saint Kitts and Nevis NO NO Not available NO NO NO NO
African Region Rwanda YES NO Available YES NO NO NO
European Region Russian Federation NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Romania NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Moldova (Republic of) NO YES Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Korea (Republic of) NO NO Not available NO NO NO NO
European Region Portugal YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Poland NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Philippines NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Peru NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Paraguay NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Papua New Guinea NO NO Available NO YES NO NO
Region of the Americas Panama NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Palau NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Oman NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Norway YES NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Niue NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Nigeria YES NO Out of date NO Grade 3 - Major/Maximal Response NO YES YES
African Region Niger NO YES Available YES Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO YES YES
Region of the Americas Nicaragua NO NO Available YES NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region New Zealand NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Netherlands YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region Nepal NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Nauru NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Madagascar YES NO Available YES YES NO YES
African Region Malawi NO NO Available YES NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region Maldives NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Malta NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Marshall Islands NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Mauritius NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Mexico NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Micronesia (Federated States of) NO NO Available NO YES NO NO
European Region Monaco NO YES Not available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Mongolia
European Region Montenegro NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
European Region Lithuania NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Libya NO NO Not available NO Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO YES NO
African Region Lesotho NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Luxembourg YES NO Not available NO NO NO NO
European Region Latvia NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Lao People's Democratic Republic NO YES Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Kiribati NO NO Available NO YES NO NO
European Region Kazakhstan NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Jordan YES NO Available NO NO NO YES
Western Pacific Region Japan YES NO Not available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Jamaica NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Italy YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Israel NO NO Available NO NO NO
European Region Ireland NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Iraq NO NO Available NO Grade 3 - Major/Maximal Response YES YES NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Iran (Islamic Republic of) NO Available NO NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region Indonesia YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region India NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Iceland NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Honduras NO NO Available YES NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Haiti YES NO Available YES Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO YES NO
Region of the Americas Guyana NO NO Available YES NO NO NO
African Region Guinea Bissau YES YES Out of date YES YES NO NO
African Region Guinea
Region of the Americas Guatemala NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Grenada NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
European Region Greece NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
European Region Germany NO YES Not available NO NO NO
European Region Georgia NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
African Region Gambia YES NO Available YES NO NO YES
African Region Gabon NO NO Available NO NO NO
European Region France YES NO Available NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Fiji NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Estonia NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Equatorial Guinea NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas El Salvador YES NO Available NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Egypt YES NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Ecuador NO NO Out of date NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Dominican Republic NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Dominica NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Djibouti
European Region Denmark
African Region Democratic Republic of Congo
South-East Asia Region Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
European Region Czech Republic
European Region Cyprus NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Cuba NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Croatia NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Costa Rica NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Cook Islands NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Congo NO NO Out of date YES NO NO NO
African Region Comoros YES NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Colombia NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region China NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Chile YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Chad YES YES Available YES YES YES YES
African Region Central African Republic NO NO Available YES Grade 2 - Moderate Response YES YES NO
Region of the Americas Canada YES NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
African Region Cameroon YES NO Out of date YES Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO YES NO
African Region Cabo Verde YES YES Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Burundi YES YES Available YES C – Countries of concern YES YES YES
African Region Burkina Faso YES YES Available YES NO NO YES
European Region Bulgaria NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Brunei Darussalam NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Brazil NO NO Available NO Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO NO NO
African Region Botswana NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Bosnia and Herzegovina NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Bolivia (Plurinational State of) NO NO Available YES NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region Bhutan NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Benin YES NO Available YES NO NO YES
European Region Belgium YES NO Not available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Barbados NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Bahamas NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Azerbaijan NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Austria NO NO Not available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Australia YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Argentina NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas Antigua and Barbuda NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Angola NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Algeria NO NO Not available NO NO NO NO
European Region Hungary NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Andorra NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Belarus NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Western Pacific Region Malaysia NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region United Arab Emirates NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Saudi Arabia NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Kuwait NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region Myanmar
European Region Finland YES NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
African Region Uganda YES NO Available YES NO NO NO
African Region Mauritania YES NO Available YES NO NO YES
African Region Ghana NO NO Out of date YES NO NO NO
African Region Kenya YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region Mali YES YES Available YES YES YES YES
Western Pacific Region Viet Nam YES YES Available NO NO NO NO
Region of the Americas United States of America YES NO Available NO NO NO
European Region Turkmenistan NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Tunisia NO YES Not available NO NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Sudan YES YES Out of date Grade 2 - Moderate Response YES YES NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Somalia NO NO Out of date NO Grade 3 - Major/Maximal Response YES YES NO
African Region Sierra Leone YES YES Available YES C – Countries of concern YES NO NO
African Region Senegal YES YES Available YES Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Qatar NO NO Out of date NO NO NO NO
African Region Namibia NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
African Region Mozambique YES Out of date Grade 1 - Limited Response YES
Eastern Mediterranean Region Morocco
African Region Liberia
Eastern Mediterranean Region Lebanon NO NO Available NO YES NO NO
European Region Kyrgyzstan
African Region Ethiopia
African Region Eritrea
Western Pacific Region Cambodia YES NO Not available NO NO NO NO
African Region Cote d'Ivoire YES NO Available YES YES NO YES
Region of the Americas Belize NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
South-East Asia Region Bangladesh NO NO Available NO Grade 3 - Major/Maximal Response NO NO NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Bahrain NO NO Available NO NO NO NO
European Region Armenia NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
European Region Albania NO NO Available NO NO NO YES
Eastern Mediterranean Region Afghanistan YES NO Available YES C – Countries of concern YES YES NO
Eastern Mediterranean Region Pakistan YES NO Available NO NO NO NO
African Region United Republic of Tanzania NO NO Available YES Grade 2 - Moderate Response NO NO NO