Five Things to Know About the First-Ever Global Progress Report on Universal Health Coverage

Friday, June 19, 2015

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the launch of a new global report that provides the clearest picture to date of countries’ progress moving toward universal health coverage (UHC). UHC is critical for building resilient health systems, which protect communities and strengthen societies in times of crisis and calm alike.

The report, released by the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group, builds on long-standing engagement and support by my organization, The Rockefeller Foundation, to develop indicators to measure and monitor progress for UHC. It is the first of its kind and represents a significant step forward in the global push to achieve health for all. Here’s why:

  1. This report reflects the continued global movement for UHC. More than 100 low- and middle-income countries, home to three-quarters of the world’s population, have taken steps to move toward UHC. Today, more people have access to health services with financial protection than ever before in history.
  2. Still far too many people are not able to access needed health services. Progress has not been swift or sweeping enough. According to the report, 400 million people lack access to one or more of seven lifesaving health services, including childhood immunization, malaria control, HIV/AIDS treatment, and family planning. The report also found that 17% of people in low- and middle-income countries are tipped into or pushed further into poverty because of health spending.

Source: The World Bank (link opens in a new window)

Health Care