The new head of WHO says his top priority is achieving universal health coverage – guaranteeing everyone access to basic healthcare regardless of location or economic status. The idea is hardly new, and has its opponents, but there appears new momentum worldwide to finally achieving it.
universal health coverage
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In the increasingly heated debate swirling around the global movement for Universal Health Coverage, the experts are dueling over some pretty equivocal data. If the poor have free access to health care, does their health improve? Some say the evidence isn’t there. But is this debate missing the forest for the trees?
The U.S. still remains a notable outlier among rich nations, spending the most on health (about $8500 per person, or 18 percent of GDP) yet failing to provide coverage for one of every six Americans. To make matters worse, health indicators in the U.S. – such as maternal mortality, child health – often rank the world’s superpower in the same neighborhood as Bulgaria or even Bangladesh.