WHO Director General’s Political Skills Could Be ‘Invaluable’ To Advancing Universal Health Coverage

The Lancet Global Health: Gravitating towards universal health coverage in the new WHO era
Editorial Board

“…The new WHO [director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,] has laid out his priorities and first on the list is a familiar challenge: advancing universal health coverage (UHC). … [Tedros] has qualified the lack of political commitment, rather than lack of resources, as the biggest constraint for progress in UHC. … Venturing into politically charged terrain is tricky for WHO. The level of comfort is high on technical issues like financing and governance, but work on the political determinants and the political economy of UHC, while key for successful reforms, is not as conspicuous. Yet advocating for the outcome rather than the means to get to UHC, as Tedros has said should be WHO’s strategy, requires it. As Ethiopia’s former minister of foreign affairs, he has undoubtedly gained key experience in high-level political engagement. Those sharp political skills will be invaluable in forging the new road ahead” (July 2017).

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