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Diagnostics Are ‘Key Component’ For Achieving Universal Health Coverage

STAT: Diagnostics are essential for universal health coverage to succeed
Madhukar Pai, Canada research chair in epidemiology and global health at McGill University, director of McGill’s Global Health Programs, and director of the McGill International TB Centre; Catharina Boehme, chief executive officer at the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND); and Ilona Kickbusch, director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and co-chair of the UHC2030 Steering Committee

“…[Universal health coverage (UHC)] won’t truly happen unless the ability to detect illnesses and outbreaks is made an integral part of it. … As countries make progress toward universal health coverage and design and deliver their essential health benefits packages, diagnostics must be included as a key component of such packages. … [C]ountries need to invest in tiered, connected, integrated laboratory networks, procure quality diagnostics, and train laboratory professionals to assess results. … We also need to work harder to develop novel diagnostics to address the biggest unmet needs. … Later this year, the United Nations General Assembly will host a high-level meeting on universal health coverage. … We call on … stakeholders to include diagnostic tests as a key component of the UHC agenda and prioritize diagnostics in the global response to antimicrobial resistance and pandemics. It is time to acknowledge that diagnostics are as important as medicines and vaccines in delivering UHC” (5/20).