Bonds Lab

To ensure universal health coverage, we need stronger community health systems (Health Policy & Planning)

10 / 31 / 2021

Nearly half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health services. To address this, most countries have committed to Universal Health Coverage (UHC), with the goal of ensuring the provision of primary health services that are “high quality, safe, comprehensive, integrated, accessible, available, and affordable for everyone everywhere”. Accordingly, UHC policies focus on reducing user fees at health facilities via fee exemptions or national health insurances, and on improving the quality of primary care through health systems strengthening. In practice, ensuring that health systems are capable of reaching everyone is both a design and a data problem. Health systems, after all, lack information on those who do not already access them, and a key determinant of that access is geography: many populations in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries need to walk several hours to consult at a health facility when they need care.

So We Ask: How can health policies such as UHC be better designed to achieve universal access to primary health care? How can these information gaps be filled so that health systems are optimized to meet population needs?  Visit our Blog in Health Policy and Planning.