GHC statement on follow-up to the high-level meetings at 73rd World Health Assembly

November 09, 2020

Global Health Council was unable to submit statements on all (or some) official agenda items.

Global Health Council in collaboration with Living Goods, Women in Global Health, The Hunger Project, and Partners In Health note the following:

We are pleased with the Board’s recognition of the report on universal health coverage (UHC) and its commitment to redouble efforts to achieve UHC.  We reaffirm UHC is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

We call upon WHO to support countries to implement comprehensive initiatives to achieve UHC, and for Member States to invest in research and development for new tools, especially for poverty-related infectious diseases. To make substantial progress toward UHC, Member States and the global community must also prioritize primary health care (PHC) as the foundation for achieving UHC. Additionally, adequate financing is necessary to achieve UHC. Governments must ensure sufficient resources are raised and allocated in an equitable manner, and effectively regulate private actors. 

We note noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), particularly in settings of poverty, remain a major gap in achieving UHC in low-income countries. To achieve global UHC targets, a strong emphasis is needed on integrated care delivery for NCDs more inclusive of those living in rural, lowest-income settings. 

We also note that efforts to recruit and retain competent, skilled, and motivated healthcare workers, including community health workers, is critical to UHC. This shortage is particularly dire in low-income countries. Investing in the local health workforce is a necessary step to reducing the social and economic impacts of injury, illness, and congenital anomalies. We support the call for next year to be the year of the health worker.

We urge those present today to realize their commitment to achieving UHC and increase support and investment in PHC and the health workforce as critical pathways for securing health for all.