Universal Health Coverage Day 2023: Date, theme, history and significance
Universal Health Coverage Day is observed on December 12 and stresses the need for a healthcare system that provides good healthcare facilities to everyone.
Covid pandemic with its unpredictability and deadly consequences underscored crucial lessons in healthcare and how the system needed to be more resilient and adaptable in the coming times. The rapid spread of the virus overwhelmed hospitals, strained supply chains, and caught us unaware. With China and US battling a new set of respiratory infections, it's time for the healthcare system to evolve and emerge much stronger to fight future pandemics and diseases. (Also read | Human Rights Day 2023: Date, theme, history, significance and all you need know)
As per WHO, Universal health coverage (UHC) means all the people are able to access full range of quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial issues. It includes all essential health services, from prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. It is important for countries to have a robust primary health care (PHC).
When is Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day celebrated
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day is observed on December 12 every year to stress the need for a healthcare system that provides equitable and good health care along with financial protection to everyone who needs it, nearby the area where they live.
Significance of Universal Health Coverage Day
United Nations designated this day to be marked as anniversary of the unanimous endorsement of UHC in 2012 as an essential priority for international development.
"The world is changing in fundamental ways that have profound implications for people’s health and well-being. As countries struggle to emerge from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, they also must confront increasingly complex challenges that threaten humanity’s very existence such as the climate crisis, environmental degradation, unplanned urbanization, new and expanding large-scale conflicts," as per WHO.
WHO noted that while universal health coverage is of utmost importance, Covid pandemic has interrupted the progress and over half of the world’s population is not fully covered by essential health services.
Theme of Universe Health Coverage (UHC) Day
The theme for this year's Universal Health Coverage Day 2023 is - Health For All: Time for action. This is basically to call for specific actions that focus on health systems resilience.
On this day, WHO calls on governments to invest in building resilience of health systems and deliver health for all in a turbulent world.