Statement | January 2024 | Download PDF

On behalf of Health Action International, I am pleased to address this session of the Executive Board on a topic central to our mandate and critical to our mission: Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

We take note of the report and acknowledge the efforts undertaken by the Secretariat, some governments and stakeholders to uphold the promise of health for all. However, UHC should not be just an aspiration but a policy objective, with goals and milestones to be achieved.

Unfortunately, this is currently not the case and like many of the SDGs, we are not any closer to honour our pledges than we were five years ago. The aftermath of COVID-19 is only one of several reasons for this dire situation: lack of political will and associated economic support by governments and other global health leaders remains the most salient obstacle to break this pattern of growing inequity.

While we welcome the efforts by WHO to broker coalitions, share expertise and streamline resources, we are intrigued as to why the work and recommendations of the Council on the Economics of Health For All is not given more visibility in this report or WHO plans for UHC.