A Concise, Health Service Coverage Index for Monitoring Progress Towards Universal Health Coverage

Resource Type: Journal Article
Authors: Anthony Leegwater, Wendy Wong, Carlos Avila
Published: June 2015

Resource Description:BMC health services research pic

A growing share of countries across the globe are declaring a commitment to pursuing Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and introducing policies and approaches to advance toward that goal. International donors and multilateral organizations are supporting these initiatives, with UHC under serious consideration for the post-2015 development agenda. There are limited means to determine progress towards the goal of UHC. We developed a practical index for capturing health service coverage – a critical dimension of UHC – that was more inclusive than previous methods. The objective was to develop an index of health service coverage that would help policymakers confront the myriad indicators available of relevance to monitoring coverage of health services.

This approach moved beyond common indicators of service coverage focused on infectious diseases and maternal and child health, to include information on necessary health inputs. The resulting, balanced, composite index of health service coverage demonstrated promise as a metric, likely to discriminate coverage levels between countries and regions. An important number of service provision indicators were correlated, therefore a reduced set of services performed well as a proxy for the full set of available indicators. This index is a start toward simplifying the task of policy-makers monitoring progress on a key domain of universal health coverage.


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