How Should We Measure Access to Health Care?

Friday, March 11, 2016

Nearly 300 civil society organizations working in global health are lobbying United Nations member states to undo proposed changes in the measurement of universal health coverage as part of the newly approved Sustainable Development Goals.

Advocates who had pushed for the UHC to be included in the SDGs now say the revised indicator won’t accurately capture what proportion of the population is able to access health care without suffering financially.

Among those concerned are World Health Organization Assistant Director-General Marie-Paul Kieny and World Bank Vice President for Human Development Keith Hansen, who expressed “major reservations” on the revised proposed indicator in a letter addressed to the director of the U.N. Statistics Division and the co-chairs of an Inter Agency Expert Group on the SDGs. In a letter seen by Devex, they argue that the new indicator is “not a valid measure of financial risk protection.”

The IAEG recently changed one of the two indicators for SDG target 3.8 — “to achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services, and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all” — to be defined as the “number of people covered by health insurance or public health system per 1,000 population.”

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

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