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Political Will, Improved Data Key To Strengthening Primary Health Care, Achieving UHC

Project Syndicate: The Keys to Universal Health Coverage
Jakaya Kikwete, member of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity and former president of Tanzania

“…The best way for countries to achieve a more integrated approach [to expanding access to health care] is to strengthen primary care, which is most people’s first point of contact with the health system. … Having recognized these potential benefits, world leaders recently met at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan, to endorse a new declaration that commits them to strengthening primary care systems within their respective countries. … With national leaders considering how best to meet their new commitment, I would emphasize two factors that are integral to making progress. First, we need to maintain the political will to strengthen primary care and achieve universal health coverage. … The second key to progress is improved data so that we can monitor what we have accomplished and what work remains to be done. … With high-level political commitments and new tools for promoting access to care and fostering accountability, I am confident that we can make this ambitious vision a reality” (11/5).