SDGs and progress towards universal health coverage
AbstractAgenda item 8.6 for the Seventieth Session of the Regional Committee has two sub-items: (i) Strengthening primary health care and health workforce, and (ii) Annual progress monitoring of UHC and SDGs. Heath is centrally placed in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Universal health coverage (UHC) is recognized as a unifying platform for making progress on Sustainable Development Goal 3 for health. The momentum around the SDGs and UHC has created new demands and opportunities for strengthening primary health care. The need for services for maternal and child health and communicable diseases continues. At the same time, ageing populations and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are putting new demands on all levels of care, especially frontline services. Monitoring progress on UHC and the SDGs will help identify bottlenecks and make any needed adjustments to policies and plans. New frontline service delivery models are being developed in the South-East Asia Region. Care needs to become more “integrated” as lifelong health conditions become more common. New service delivery models need to be closely linked with strategies to strengthen the health workforce, and discussions on financing. Partnerships with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector may help to address some aspects of exclusion, and these actors need to be brought into discussions about strengthening primary-level care. Strengthening frontline services involves multiple interventions within and beyond the health sector. It, therefore, requires political leadership. Better data and more syntheses of evidence, and experience with different service delivery models and new skill-mix approaches are urgently needed. This Region is already taking action on monitoring the SDGs and UHC. There are some clear priorities: setting national health SDG targets; improving equity monitoring; strengthening civil registration and vital statistics; and maintaining regular reviews of progress.
World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia. (2017). SDGs and progress towards universal health coverage. World Health Organization. Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/258544