Access to better healthcare for people across the globe has taken a step closer to the realization after a global body of parliaments passed a new resolution toward achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2030.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) passed the resolution at its Assembly session held days ago in Belgrade, Serbia. The adoption comes about a month after a United Nations Political Declaration on UHC was agreed to by the heads of states in New York.
In September 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO), together with 11 other organizations released the UHC Global Monitoring Report about the importance of doubling health coverage by 2030.
The United Nations health agency has appreciated the passing of the new resolution by the IPU Assembly.
“Universal health coverage is a political choice. Last month, the world’s leaders signaled their readiness to make that choice,” said WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Now it’s time to turn those commitments into health results.”
Good health is a right of every human. The UN Political Declaration on UHC agreed by heads of state in September can be taken as an acknowledgement of that fact. It is a very important milestone toward achieving sustainable global development and is crucial for economic growth.
The passing of the resolution by the IPU Assembly could be considered a critical step in the direction of making universal health coverage attainable. The resolution requests parliaments and parliamentarians across the globe to do everything possible to make good healthcare available to all. It calls for setting up of strong legal frameworks and allocation of ample resources to make this possible.
The UHC resolution draws attention to the significance of making essential health services available in the community. It expresses the need for the bolstering of existing health systems. It indicates that the prevention of outbreaks from becoming epidemics depends greatly on making health care available to the most vulnerable in society.
Potentially life-saving step
As said by WHO and its partners, as many as five billion people in the world will not have access to health care by 2030 if the UHC goal is not achieved. The poor will suffer the most from that failure.
Adoption of the new resolution on universal health coverage has the potential to save millions of lives across the world every year. As a result, countries may also witness improved socio-economic progress.
Dr. Ghebreyesus acknowledged the important role that parliamentarians can play to make universal health coverage realizable.
“Because it’s parliamentarians who pass laws and allocate funding,” he said. “It’s parliaments who keep government accountable for the commitments it’s made and who forge the partnerships that help countries make universal health coverage a reality.”
WHO says an extra outlay of $200 billion each year on improving primary health care in low and middle-income countries. This amount, according to it, could help save the lives of roughly 60 million people. Additional funding would increase life expectancy by an estimated 3.7 years, on average, by 2030.
The extra investment required would amount to about a three percent increase in the current, annual health spending across the globe.
Women, children, and adolescents are major focal groups for the UHC resolution. Sexual and reproductive health also constitutes an important aspect of it.
The resolution calls for synergy between the IPU and WHO to make its execution successful at the country, regional and global levels. This alliance will also help with progress monitoring.