WFPHA@ WHO EB. Statement on UHC and the Global Charter

The World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) presents a statement at the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) in January 2018 on Universal Health Coverage and the Charter

142th session of the WHO Executive Board, Geneva, 22 - 27 January 2018

Agenda item: 3.7 Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

The WFPHA is the only worldwide non-governmental representation of public health professionals whose prime focus is to promote and strengthen public health at the local, national and global level.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as part of Universal Health Care, has been on the public health agenda since the declaration of Alma Ata in 1978. The quest for UHC has been reiterated on many occasions since with the most recent being the Tokyo Declaration of 2017.

UHC is technically and financially feasible and is already working effectively in low, middle and high income countries. UHC is based on a political decision and, therefore, needs political will. There are social, economic, and political preconditions for UHC to be a realistic political goal including: a sufficient tax revenue base to finance public goods, a relatively equitable society, as well as legislative and institutional structures.

To achieve and maintain UHC the WFPHA, together with WHO, has elaborated four enablers in the Global Charter for the Public’s Health (Charter). They are capacity building, good governance, accurate information and effective advocacy.

We call upon the WHO to fully embrace the Charter’s functions of protection, prevention and health promotion as well as the four enablers as a way of creating the preconditions for UHC.

The WFPHA stands ready to mobilize our members worldwide to accelerate political leadership for UHC. Every country faces a unique policy context, but we will enhance cross-country “learning” through our world-wide membership. We will support the WHO in its norm-setting functions and in its assistance to implement policies. To do so, we call upon the WHO, its member states, and the related UN-organizations to openly support what is a fundamentally political process.

Management and governance solutions should be consistent with the values of the citizens they serve. We call for implementation of the Charter to focus on systemic approaches for strengthening health systems to deliver UHC.

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