World Health Day – 7 April 2019

The focus of this year’s World Health Day is universal health coverage.

Universal health coverage is WHO’s number one goal. Key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community.

Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world.

But millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing and even a home.

Key Messages

  • Health is a human right; it’s time for health for all.
  • Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.
  • At least half of the people in the world do not receive the health services they need.
  • About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.
  • Unsafe and low-quality health care ruins lives and costs the world trillions of dollars every year, we must do more to improve the quality and safety of health services globally.
  • Primary health care should be the first level of contact with the health system, where individuals, families and communities receive most of their health care—from promotion and prevention to treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care—as close as possible to where they live and work.
  • At its heart, primary health care is about caring for people and helping them improve their health or maintain their well-being, rather than just treating a single disease or condition.
  • To make health for all a reality, we need: individuals and communities who have access to high quality health services so that they take care of their own health and the health of their families; skilled health workers providing quality, people-centred care; and policy-makers committed to investing in primary health care.

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