World Health Day 2019 lands on 7 April, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring universal health coverage (UHC) as this year’s focus. The choice of theme is fitting given UHC’s prioritization by the current WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. His institution estimates that about 400 million people around the world lack access to essential health services, while 150 million suffer financial catastrophe annually from out-of-pocket expenditure on health services, and another 100 million are pushed below the poverty line.
UHC refers to health systems in which every single person has access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without facing financial hardship. UHC is distinct from “universal health access” in that it goes beyond the availability of free health services to disclose whether or not populations are using the services available to them.
Source: World Economic Forum