A wake up call by WHO and World Bank for universal health


Roughly around 400 million people do not have the access to essential health services, as per the report shared by the World Health Organization and World Bank. They described it as a “wake-up call” about the challenges to achieving universal health coverage.

The report also said that at least 6 per cent of people in 37 low-and-middle-income countries are living in poverty because of the money they spend on health. The finding alone suggested that the poorest could be left further behind by rising global health costs.

“The world’s most disadvantaged people are missing out on even the most basic services”, Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general for health systems and innovation at the WHO, said in a statement announcing the 98-page report, which was released online and at a news conference at United Nations headquarters in New York.

While the findings in the report, “Tracking Universal Health Coverage,” were not surprising, its creators said that they had nonetheless established benchmarks for measuring both health coverage and financial protection from the cost.

In assessing how much consumers of health care must pay, the report found that in low and middle income countries, 6 percent of the population had been reduced to poverty – defined as living on $1.25 a day – because of out-of-pocket health expenses.


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