TODAY -

12th December is International Universal Health Coverage Day 2020
Health for all : Protect everyone

Ranjan K Baruah *



We know that health is our real wealth. Good health means a good mind which means a healthy society around us. Health care is important for each and every one of us .

When it comes to health care for all then we hear about universal health coverage. It means that all people have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.

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. The situation is more challenging at the time of pandemic like COVID-19. All Governments promise good healthcare facilities to its citizens.

We know that to make health for all a reality, we need : individuals and communities who have access to high quality health services so that they take care of their own health and the health of their families; skilled health workers providing quality, people-centred care; and policy-makers committed to investing in universal health coverage.

On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care - as an essential priority for international development.

On 12 December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution 72/138.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his message said that “in responding to the pandemic, we have seen rapid innovative approaches to health service delivery and models of care, and advances in preparedness. We must learn from this experience. For Universal Health Coverage Day, let us commit to end this crisis and build a safer and healthier future by investing in health systems that protect us all — now.”

The day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners. ‘Health for All: Protect Everyone’ is the theme for this year.

There is no doubt that universal health coverage should be based on strong, people-centred primary health care. Countries which have invested more on health have seen progress in their own countries.

Countries like India need to invest more on health apart than others. While the harsh lessons of COVID-19 are far from new— and while fears and injustices now making headlines reflect the daily reality of millions before the pandemic—the sheer scale of this crisis has sparked new urgency around health systems and universal health coverage.


(With direct inputs from UNESCO publication )


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be contacted at bkranjan(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on December 14 2020.



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