Policy Brief: What Steps Are Countries Taking To Implement Pro-Poor Universal Health Coverage?

Resource Type: Brief
Authors: Alix Beith, Naomi Beyeler, and David Evans
Published: November 2015

Cover Page: Policy Brief: What Steps Are Countries Taking To Implement Pro-Poor Universal Health Coverage?Resource Description: Universal health coverage (UHC)—ensuring that everyone has access to quality, affordable health services when needed—can be a vehicle for improved equity, health, financial well-being, and economic development. In its 2013 report, Global Health 2035: A World Converging within a Generation, the Commission on Investing in Health made the case that pro-poor pathways towards UHC, which target the poor from the outset, are the most efficient way to achieve both improved health outcomes and increased financial protection (FP). Countries worldwide are now embarking on health system changes to move closer to achieving UHC, often with a clear pro-poor intent.

Much has been written about what steps countries have taken and are currently taking to: (1) set and expand guaranteed services, (2) develop health financing systems to fund guaranteed services and ensure FP, (3) ensure high-quality service availability and delivery, (4) improve governance and management of the health sector, and (5) strengthen other aspects of health systems to move closer to UHC. As background for a meeting on UHC implementation, held at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, Italy, from 7–9 July 2015, we reviewed this body of literature, and conducted interviews with global UHC implementers and researchers. In this short policy brief, we synthesize the key messages from the literature and interviews.




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