This feature story originally appeared on the WHO’s website.
Universal health coverage (UHC) means that everyone, everywhere can access health services without experiencing financial hardship. The world was taking positive steps to deliver health for all by 2030 before COVID-19 fundamentally disrupted health systems, societies and economies. In less than a year, the pandemic has eroded the development gains achieved over the past 25 years.
To get back on track for UHC, world leaders need to make tough decisions and take this crucial opportunity to reset the very foundations of health systems: from governance to financing, strengthening access to medicines, vaccines and health services, building up the heath workforce, to strengthening the capacities of all countries to prevent and respond to health emergencies. COVID-19 means we have to act now.
The UHC Partnership, one of WHO’s largest initiatives for international cooperation for UHC, is providing vital and timely support that is enabling countries to take advantage of the opportunity to emerge stronger from the pandemic.
Countries from each of the six WHO regions are demonstrating that investing in stronger health systems is crucial in responding to COVID-19, protecting people from future health threats and making health for all a reality.