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International Universal Health Coverage Day 2019

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means everyone can access the quality health services without facing financial hardship.


International Universal Health Coverage Day(IUHD) is celebrated on 12 December every year. This day is the anniversary of the first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, anywhere in the world.

Universal health coverage has been included in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.


The theme for this IUHCD 2019 is Keep the Promise of health for all.

It aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and UHC with multi-stakeholder partners. Governments, international organisations, civil society organisations, the private sector, academia, and media are encouraged to keep holding leaders, our health systems and ourselves accountable to the promise of health for all.


WHO: All people, including the poorest and most vulnerable.

WHAT: Full range of essential health services, including prevention, treatment, hospital care and pain control.

HOW: Costs shared among entire population through pre- payment and risk-pooling, rather than shouldered by the sick. Access should be based on need and unrelated to ability to pay.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC) stands for ensuring equitable access for all the citizens in any part of the country, regardless of income level, social status, gender, caste or religion. It aims to provide affordable, accountable, appropriate health service of assured quality. As such it includes preventive, curative and rehabilitative care.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), at least one billion people around the world cannot afford health care services which they need. Approximately, 150 million people are subjected to financial crisis annually and 100 million are pushed below the poverty line as a result of payment which they have to make.
India is committed to provide Universal Health Coverage for all during 12th Plan period (2012-2017). A High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was constituted by the Planning Commission. While financial protection was the principal objective of this initiative, it was recognized that the delivery of UHC also requires the availability of adequate healthcare infrastructure, skilled health workforce and access to affordable drugs and technologies.

Why Universal Health Coverage?

Universal Health Coverage is the right of every human being to enjoy physical and mental health, without distinction of race, religion, political belief, and socio-economic status. Every human being deserves a decent standard of living which includes health and well-being of the family, food, clothing, housing and medical care. These are essential to take care of circumstances such as unemployment, sickness, accidents, disability, widowhood, or old age.  Good health is the basis for a long term economic development. Countries are adopting universal health coverage to gain double benefits- healthier communities and stronger economies.
Universal coverage is firmly based on the 1948 WHO Constitution, which declares health as a fundamental human right and commits to ensuring the highest attainable level of health for all. 


Ayushman Bharat Programme

An initiative taken by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in the form of “Ayushman Bharat Programme” ensures an enhanced response towards achieving UHC. The two major activities under Ayushman Bharat Programme are -transformation of nearly 1.5 lakh sub-centres and primary health centres in to Health &Wellness Centres for delivery of comprehensive primary health care services and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) which aims to cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approx. 50 crore beneficiaries) to provide health insurance cover up to Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.

10 Facts on Universal Health Coverage

Universal Health coverage in India- report


UHC is a means to promote the human right to health.




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