Ensuring that all people can access the health services they need – without facing financial hardship – is key to improving the well-being of a country’s population. But universal health coverage (UHC) is more than that: it is an investment in human capital and a foundational driver of inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development. It is a way to support people so they can reach their full potential and fulfil their aspirations.
However, this joint report from the World Bank and the World Health Organization finds that despite some progress on UHC, at least half of the world’s population still cannot obtain essential health services. And each year, close to 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty because they must pay for health expenses out of their own pockets. The report is a sobering wake-up call if we are serious about reaching the global goal of UHC by 2030.