Unfinished Universal Health Coverage Agenda Roundtable Series

Global momentum is quickly building for universal health care (UHC), defined by the World
Health Organization as "ensuring that all people have access to needed promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that people do not suffer financial hardship when paying for these services." In January 2012, health ministers from around the world gathered in Bangkok and committed themselves to "rais[ing] universal health coverage on the national, regional and global agendas." Four months later, the World Health Assembly formally adopted a resolution calling for worldwide UHC. In her address to the assembly, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan described UHC as "the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer." In December, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution on UHC, encouraging national governments worldwide to "plan or pursue the transition towards universal access to affordable and quality health-care services." The unprecedented support that the UHC agenda has received from
national governments, civil society, and international organizations significantly boosted its chances of being included in the post-2015 Millennium Development Framework as a unifying and central health goal that crosses political and economic lines.

Achieving sustainable UHC requires health systems to deliver progress on access to coverage with financial risk protection and access to coverage for needed health services. While the global rebalancing of wealth and the growing political commitment to the health sector have enabled many more countries to make significant domestic investments in their health systems, countries aspiring to expanding coverage continue to face challenges on how to remove financial barriers to access and reduce financial risks of illness. Their efforts to address these challenges are further complicated by the ongoing economic and financial crisis and the shifting demographic and epidemiological landscape (e.g., population movement and aging, the rise of noncommunicable diseases). These issues are critical for successful implementation of UHC, yet thus far, have not been addressed adequately.

The project on Unfinished Universal Health Coverage Agenda will be under the direction of Senior Fellow for Global Health Yanzhong Huang. This project has been made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Meetings

Roundtable Meeting ⁄ New York

Monitoring and Measuring Progress Toward UHC

Speakers:

David S. Evans, Health Systems Financing Director, World Health Organization, Frank Nyonator, Dean, School of Public Health at the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Ghana

Presider:

Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
June 11, 2014

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting ⁄ Washington

Universal Health Coverage for Whom? The Challenge of Covering Workers in Informal Sectors

Speakers:

Cristian Baeza, Partner, McKinsey & Company, Rob Yates, Senior Health Economist, World Health Organization

Presider:

Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
March 18, 2014

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting ⁄ Washington

Setting Benefit Priorities in Implementing UHC

Speakers:

Kalipso Chalkidou, Founding Director, NICE International, Amanda Glassman, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Presider:

Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
February 4, 2014

This meeting is not for attribution.

Unfinished Universal Health Coverage Agenda Roundtable Series Fellows