Japan PM Abe, WHO DG Tedros Discuss Importance Of Achieving UHC In Opinion Pieces

Washington Post: All nations should have universal health care
Shinzo Abe, prime minister of Japan, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization

“…We believe that health care is a human right for all people, not a privilege for those who can afford it. If that’s the case, we can’t accept a world in which people are impoverished by exercising that right. That’s why we are both committed to universal health coverage, so that all people can access the health services they need without financial hardship. … The good news is that countries such as Japan have shown that universal coverage is not only possible but also pays long-term dividends for the prosperity and stability of nations. Investing in health at an early stage of a country’s economic development can create the fundamental infrastructure for sustainable and comprehensive economic growth and social development. … Each government has to have a sense of responsibility to adopt consistent policies and to implement them effectively and efficiently to realize this ambitious goal. At the state, regional, and global levels, universal coverage creates a common front against poverty, pandemics and the health effects of climate change. Strong coverage builds healthier people everywhere — for individuals, families, communities, and nations” (12/12)

The BMJ: Healthcare for all: every country can do it — an essay by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization

“…[U]niversal health coverage (UHC) is not a luxury for wealthy countries: it’s the foundation of development and it is possible in every country. … [T]he one thing I believe should be the same in every country is that primary healthcare must be the bedrock of UHC, with an emphasis on promoting health and preventing disease. … Seeing the benefits of UHC around the world over the years and then working to reinvent Ethiopia’s health system fueled my passion for achieving health for all. Having an opportunity not only to spread the health for all message, but also to help all countries to make that goal a reality, is humbling and inspiring. I am optimistic. One of the fundamental truths of global health is that health is a political choice. There are so many highly skilled, hard working health workers around the world, and so many policy makers with their hearts in the right place. But without political will at the highest level, UHC will remain just a goal for many countries” (12/12).

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