There is no blueprint for Universal Health Coverage. Decision makers weighing policy options to suit local contexts will be faced with competing claims from many different stakeholders, and the path towards UHC will inevitably be contested.
Evidence has a crucial role to play, by giving decision makers the tools they need to select the best policy options, and confidently make the trade-offs required to optimise benefits to communities.
Health Technology Assessments enable decision makers to evaluate medicines and healthcare interventions in terms of both cost effectiveness and community preferences, in order to choose which should be covered by health insurance or government-funded benefit packages.
Monitoring households’ financial protection from the costs associated with illness and access to care highlights disparities within a community along gender, ethnic or socioeconomic lines, supporting greater accountability and enabling inequities to be addressed.
Evidence must underpin the design of primary health care systems and the development of financing models alike, in order to ensure services are comprehensive and well-integrated, as well as adequately and sustainably resourced.
Academic institutions, working with governments, communities, the private sector and civil society, have a critical role to play in generating the evidence needed to prevent UHC from being derailed.
The meeting was convened by the United Nations in preparation for the High-Level Meeting on UHC that took place on 23 September 2019.