Experts in the fight against poverty, like anyone, can sometimes miss the forest for the trees.
That may be happening in the increasingly heated debate swirling around the global movement for Universal Health Coverage. The gist of this global push, led by folks at the World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation and others, is to ensure everyone around the world has access to basic and preventative health services.
Now, people disagree on what is precisely meant by the term ‘universal health coverage,’ aka UHC, but the assumption is that increasing access to essential health care will improve health outcomes and also economic stability – especially for the poor.
Sounds like a good assumption, eh? Not so fast.
Experts in health policy, aid and development say there is insufficient evidence to support the claim that simply increasing access to services improves health outcomes. Which services are we talking about? What outcomes are the best measures? What do we mean by access? Experts say we need to better define terms and test assumptions before taking steps to improve access to health. Continue reading