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A victory today for Universal Health Coverage- Statement from Oxfam

We are delighted to announce a victory for the drive for universal health coverage.  We will now be able to count the cost of paying for healthcare for  households around the world. It is truly exciting that in a couple of years we could have sound global data on what kinds of health financing mechanisms are most effective for leaving no one behind in healthcare. Armed with this, we can call for policy changes to achieve more equity in health and prevent the 100 million people currently being pushed into poverty each year paying for health care.

Today, the group of experts tasked with developing the indicator framework to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have agreed to measure financial risk protection of universal health coverage by ‘’proportion of the population with large household expenditures on health as a share of total household expenditure or income”. This signals a great shift in from the previous dangerous indicator that would just measure population with access to health insurance or a public health system.

The previous indicator was flawed because it did not measure whether or not people were actually financially protected against potentially catastrophic costs for health care. It would have also failed to measure progress across different income groups or by gender. It was also dangerous as it sent a signal to governments around the world that health insurance was the route to achieving Universal Health Coverage despite robust and scientific evidence that many voluntary health insurance schemes have exacerbated inequality.
A global campaign was mobilized to replace the dangerous indicator with one which ‘measures what matters’.

In a campaign largely coordinated by Oxfam, civil society organisations, academics, development agencies and statistical authorities expressed their deep concerns with letters, lobbying and public statements. Now we can celebrate a step closer to universal health coverage that leads to everyone accessing the quality health services they need without being pushed, or pushed further, into poverty.

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4 Responses to “A victory today for Universal Health Coverage- Statement from Oxfam”

  1. David Zakus says:

    Hi, it would have been nice and important to have included references in this statement, especially about where to get further information about this ‘event’ and even the statement about voluntary health insurance schemes exacerbating inequality. Thanks.

  2. Saliou Diallo says:

    Hi,
    I’m a PhD Student on health Economics. M’y thesis topics is “Progress towards Universal health coverage and it’s effect on health outcomes”. In one of my papers i develop an index to measure Universal health progress but it only for 67 countries due to less available data. Is it possible For you to provide me more data on health services acces variables and financial protection to complete my index.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Mohga Kamal-Yanni says:

      Thanks for sharing this information. The blog does not have a database for UHC. There are other organisations who provide such data but I am sure you already know that. .

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Global Health Check was created by Anna Marriott and is currently edited by Mohga Kamal-Yanni