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.

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.

  

 

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

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.      

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Western Pacific Region Vanuatu Not listed as partner Not listed as partner Out of date Not eligible N/A N/A N/A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European Region Turkey Not listed as partner Not listed as partner Out of date Not eligible N/A N/A Available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