Journal of Business and Hotel ManagementISSN: 2324-9129

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Universal Health Coverage: Streamlining Health Equity

Universal health coverage (UHC) – defined as all people having access to quality health services without suffering the financial hardship associated with paying for care – is the overarching vision for health sector development (WHO, 2013a). Over the past decade, Member States of the Western Pacific Region have made significant health gains and commitments to UHC. Many Member States are addressing in their health system reforms the essential attributes of high-performing health systems: quality, efficiency, equity, accountability, sustainability and resilience. However, the Western Pacific Region faces challenges posed by changing epidemiological and demographic profiles, urbanization and migration, climate change, emerging diseases, and disparities within countries. Sustainable financing is needed along with responsive services. Progress towards UHC needs to be accelerated. In 2012 and 2013, an extensive review of the six Western Pacific Region health systems strategies highlighted Member States’ desire for a whole-of-system approach to health system development and their commitment to advance UHC. A 2014 progress report on UHC to the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific (WHO, 2014a) also emphasized the importance of country-specific approaches to UHC in national health policies and strategies. Universal Health Coverage: Moving Towards Better Health is an action framework that has been developed to support countries in realizing this vision of better health through UHC. It outlines shared principles of UHC and reflects the values of the World Health Organization (WHO) Constitution, the Health for All agenda set by the Alma-Ata Declaration in 1978 and multiple World Health Assembly resolutions.

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