Global Health Council and the Multilateral Engagement Roundtable Statement on the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

September 24, 2019

The opening plenary of the High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Photo credit: Loyce Pace.


Wednesday, September 24, 2019

Global Health Council and the members of the Multilateral Engagement Roundtable welcome yesterday’s High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and commend governments for reaffirming their commitments to ensuring that everyone has access to essential and quality health services. UHC means a strong health system that provides equitable access to the full spectrum of health services leading to healthier communities and stronger economies.

The High-Level Meeting on UHC was a historic moment in recognizing the critical need for strong health systems that provide primary health care services that are integrated, comprehensive, and people-centered; and addresses health promotion, prevention, treatment, and palliative care. We call for an emphasis on the elements that are critical to achieving UHC: frontline health workers who are equipped with appropriate training, tools, and technology; health facilities that have adequate clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; and support for the research and development of new tools and technologies to combat endemic and emerging health threats.

Achieving UHC will not be done without greater multisectoral collaboration across public and private entities, civil society, as well as looking at other sectors, including technology and finance, to realize solutions. There must be clear targets and strong financial commitments to reach these goals, requiring transparency and accountability from all stakeholders.

We urge Member States to provide the leadership and strong political will to achieve UHC. The real work begins today, when governments, civil society, and the private sector join together to accelerate action on achieving UHC.