Kolkata, Apr 7 : A well-functioning primary care system that meets most of a person’s health needs, throughout the life course, is central to universal health coverage,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia, on World Health Day, celebrated every year on April 7. The theme of the day this year is Universal Health Coverage, ‘Health for All: Everyone, Everywhere.
Dr Khetrapal Singh said Universal health coverage or UHC is WHO’s number one goal globally. In the WHO South-East Asia Region, UHC has been a flagship priority program since 2014. The Region has seen encouraging progress, with essential health service coverage improving in all countries, along with the availability of doctors, nurses and midwives. There is also growing inter-country collaboration to improve access to quality medicines through the South-East Asia Regulatory Network.
Universal Health means that all people have access, without any kind of discrimination, to comprehensive quality services, wherever they need them, without facing financial difficulties. It requires the definition and implementation of policies and actions with a multisectoral approach to address the social determinants of health and promote the commitment of the whole society with health and well-being. Universal health is not just about ensuring everyone is covered, but that everyone has access to care when they need it, wherever they are.
World Health Day (WHD) celebrated on April 7 every year, this year marks the end of the World Health Organization’s 70th anniversary celebrations. To mark this day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a series of tweet said, “Today is #WorldHealthDay. We have already ensured ‘Health for All’ in #Bengal. Healthcare is free in all government hospitals in the State. We have built 43 new Multi/Superspeciality Hospitals at sub-divisional level, bringing great relief to the common people #HealthyBengal.”
In an another tweet, Ms Banerjee said, “We have given centrality to the health of mother and child in our ‘Health for All’ programme, as a result of which IMR has gone down from 32 to 25, MMR from 113 to 101. Institutional delivery improved to 97.5% #HealthyBengal #WorldHealthDay.” “We have recently launched 'Swasthya Sathi' health insurance cards, which will cover 7.5 crore people in the State. The cards are being issued in the name of women, recognising them as head of family #HealthyBengal #WorldHealthDay,” she added. (UNI)