Kolkata, Dec 8 : Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) on December 12 is the annual rallying point for the growing movement for universal health – to ensure that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality health services without financial hardship.
It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care. The theme of Universal Health Day this year is Universal health: for everyone, everywhere.
UHC enables everyone to access the services that address the most significant causes of disease and death, and ensures that the quality of those services is good enough to improve the health of the people who receive them.
Protecting people from the financial consequences of paying for health services out of their own pockets reduces the risk that people will be pushed into poverty because unexpected illness requires them to use up their life savings, sell assets, or borrow – destroying their futures and often those of their children.
Currently, at least half of the people in the world do not receive the health services they need. About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health. This must change. Achieving UHC is one of the targets the nations of the world set when adopting the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. Countries that progress towards UHC will make progress towards the other health-related targets, and towards the other goals. Good health allows children to learn and adults to earn, helps people escape from poverty, and provides the basis for long-term economic development. (UNI)