Universal health coverage is a priority to end the global health crisis and build a safer and healthier future.
The State of UHC Commitment review asks a simple question: Are governments taking action towards meeting their UHC commitments? This synthesis presents findings and trends from around the world in people’s lived experiences during this trying time.
The current state of UHC presents huge challenges. In many countries, poor and vulnerable groups are once again being left behind, and inequities are widening due to the COVID-19 crisis. People are anxious about their health, their finances and their futures, and trust in government and political leaders is eroding in some countries. The COVID-19 pandemic is also exposing and exacerbating weaknesses in health systems, showing that many governments neglected to invest in health, social safety nets and emergency preparedness when it really mattered: before a crisis struck. Even countries with stronger health systems could have been better prepared for this emergency. There is still much to be done to ensure adequate support to front-line health workers, to meaningfully engage all stakeholders in decision-making and to ensure gender-equitable responses. Furthermore, many countries have not adopted measurable national targets, and public awareness of governments’ commitments remains limited.
However, there is also hope. Countries that have performed better so far on COVID-19 tend to have leaders who interact with the scientific community, heed advice from public health officials and take rapid, decisive action to protect everyone.