The new issue of the WHO Bulletin (February 2017) is themed on Universal Health Coverage and is freely available here:

Below are extracts from the lead editorial:

CITATION: Breaking down the barriers to universal health coverage

Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn & Margaret Chan

‘The 2030 agenda for sustainable development calls on the international community to prioritize the needs and rights of vulnerable populations, so that no one is left behind…

Models for extending service coverage stress the importance of education, training and community engagement. Enhanced recruitment, training, supervision, and compensation of community health workers rapidly improved coverage with maternal and child health services in rural areas of Liberia.  Brazil has used a package of incentives to recruit physicians to work in remote and deprived areas and to improve the primary healthcare infrastructure, leading to better working conditions and better quality of care…

The inclusion of an SDG target for reaching universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, affirms the power of health to build fair, stable, and cohesive societies while also contributing to poverty alleviation. The target provides a unifying platform for moving towards all other health targets through the delivery of integrated, people-centred services that span the life course, bring prevention to the fore and protect against financial hardship. Universal health coverage is the ultimate expression of fairness and one of the most powerful social equalizers among all policy options.’

Best wishes, Neil

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