Excellencies, President of the General Assembly, Chef de Cabinet of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Deputy Director-General of WHO, UHC2030 partners, friends,
It is an honor to be here today not only on behalf of UHC2030 but on behalf of every voice of half our world’s population that dream of a day when they won’t have to worry about when, where and how to access healthcare.
Today as we gather, they are also listening to us. Their dreams turning into hope knowing well the starting point on the journey to Universal Health Coverage is not a technical one but a social and ethical consensus that health is a human right!
Health is the most fundamental human right which allows us to enjoy all other rights and I am glad to be in this room today because each person in here has the power to make these dreams come true.
Universal health coverage is the cornerstone to achieving Good Health and wellbeing for all as embedded in SDG3. It is not just about health but about nations and their prosperity.
The UHC2030, a co-host of this meeting, is a multi-stakeholder movement to accelerate progress toward UHC through promoting collaboration on health systems strengthening at the global and country levels.
In the last 4 months, UHC2030 has conducted wide consultations with all actors of the UHC movement including parliamentarians, civil society, the private sector, agencies, networks, and academia to develop a set of key priorities that we consider irreducible minimums towards global and country commitments to achievement of Universal Health Coverage in every community.
Everyone, Everywhere, should have access to quality and affordable health services. We call on Political Leaders to legislate, invest and collaborate with all of society to make UHC a reality by adopting the following key priorities:
- That we Ensure Political Leadership Beyond Health asking that Political Leaders commit to achieving UHC for healthy lives and well-being for all at all stages, as a social contract. That Governments incorporate aspirational health-related SDG targets into national planning processes, policies and strategies to ensure everyone can access quality health services without financial hardship.
- That we Leave No One Behind calling on Political Leaders to pursue equity. Governments should report disaggregated data to SDG official statistics to capture the full spectrum of the equity dimensions of UHC monitoring progress.
- That we Regulate and Legislate calling on Political Leaders to create a strong, enabling regulatory and legal environment responsive to people’s needs. Governments should introduce legal and regulatory measures that accelerate progress toward UHC. I am reminded here that those with little in life deserve more in law.
- That we Uphold Quality of Care calling on Political Leaders to build quality health systems that people and communities trust.
- That we must Invest More and Invest Better calling on Political Leaders to sustain public financing and harmonize health investments. Governments should adopt ambitious investment goals for UHC following the set goals, make progress in mobilizing domestic pooled funding and reduce catastrophic and impoverishing health expenditure.
- We must Move Together calling on Political Leaders to establish multi-stakeholder mechanisms for engaging the whole of society for a healthier world. We call on all UN Member States to join the UHC Movement and establish multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure the involvement of civil society, communities, and the private sector, in regular policy dialogue and review of progress with all government actors.
In all this, we must commit to design and deliver health services informed by the voices and needs of people observing gender equality and women’s rights while prioritizing the most vulnerable members of the world’s population.
Today, you will hear consolidated but also diverse voices of stakeholders. As we listen, we need to remember that we are not listening to individuals or organizations but to voices of those whose voices are not loud enough. Each of us if here because we hold power to change people’s lives. People who are not in this room.
So today, let’s not count each other. Let’s make our power count. And like a preacher I will ask you, turn to the person next to you and tell them:
Make your power count!