Viewpoint: All for universal health coverage

The Lancet
Oct 10, 2009  Volume 374  Number 9697  Pages 1213 – 1300

All for universal health coverage

Laurie Garrett, A Mushtaque R Chowdhury, Ariel Pablos-Méndez

As the USA engages in what promises to be a vibrant debate over how the world’s most costly health-care system can efficiently and equitably provide access to quality health services to all American people, controversies about universal health coverage are brought into high relief, not only in the USA, but also worldwide. Since the mid-20th century, most nations have signed many accords, establishing that provision of health is a fundamental human right;1–4 health for all should be not only an aspirational target but also an essential framework for the United Nations system;5,6 international donor mechanisms should include support for essential health systems and health-workforce development;7,8 poor population health contributes to social and economic instability and undermines development efforts;9 and specific targets for country achievements in health should be set, and funded, through international instruments.

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