Key Asks from the UHC Movement UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (4)

11 April, 2019

I would like to invite HIFA members to consider the six 'asks' in Isabelle Wachsmuth's message (3 April): Key Asks from the UHC Movement UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

Her message is here:

and the Asks are described in more detail here:

Of special relevance to HIFA is ASK4:

ASK4: UPHOLD QUALITY OF CARE ­ Build quality health systems that people and communities trust.

Quality primary health care (PHC) is the backbone of UHC and creates trust in public institutions. Expansion of health coverage must be accompanied by investments in the quality of health services. People should be able to access a full spectrum of safe, quality services and products in their community, delivered by well-trained, well-paid, culturally and gender-sensitive health workers.

MILESTONE: By 2023, the coverage of quality essential health services has been delivered to one billion additional people (SDG 3.8.1).

Here is a fuller description from the above document:

1. Put better quality on par with expanded coverage. Progress on UHC must be measured through the achievement of equitable and effective coverage and access to promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services. This requires new investment and delivery models, as well as collaborations through participatory and inclusive service delivery redesign and planning.

2. Build quality assurance measures to achieve resource optimisation and the satisfaction and safety of patients, families and providers.

3. Ensure the appropriate, safe and affordable use of digital and AI innovation. Digital health and AI provide new opportunities to respond to the unique needs of each person, organise services seamlessly, involve patients in decisionmaking and collect, connect and disseminate data with smart and autonomous systems.

4. Promote innovation and harness a variety of technologies, including digital technologies, to improve equitable access to health services, complement and enhance existing health service delivery models and empower and enable people and communities to play an active role in their own health.

5. Train a health workforce based on quality and competence, with a special focus on nurses, midwives and community health workers. Education must improve overall management capacity and skills and foster the appropriate use of technology. UHC requires supportive education policies, labour market regulations, effective environmental stewardship and monetary and non-monetary incentives for health workers and health organisations.

6. Empower providers to undertake real-time implementation research to identify and scale best practices for achieving quality.

What are your thoughts on ASK4 and its six components?

Personally I would be interested to know more about how these ambitions will be operationalised and measured (perhaps some or all of them are already 'covered' in existing plans, such as HRH2030?).

More pragmatically, how can we as individuals, and collectively as HIFA, contribute to the process from here on? Several HIFA members will be attending the High-Level Meeting in New York later this month and we look forward to hear from them.

Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: