The 7th of April is World Health Day and the 70th year that it’s running. This is an initiative to highlight universal health coverage (UHC). The idea behind universal health coverage is that everyone everywhere can access essential, quality health services without facing financial hardship. This, unfortunately, is still not the reality for many people.
The Statistics Regarding Health Care Worldwide
It’s a sad and shocking fact that after all this time, half the world still doesn’t have access to good quality health care and that roughly 100 million people need to choose between living expenses such as food or their health.
This is not just a problem faced by just impoverished third world countries. Even first-world countries like America struggle with poor quality public health care. Many citizens are forced to spend large amounts of money that they do not have on medical bills.
The Road to Better Universal Health Coverage
While no country can provide quality health care completely free of charge, there are still ways to use tax money and donations wisely and to provide affordable, low-cost medical care without compromising on the quality of that care. UHC seeks to tailor health care to the needs of the community.
Currently, there is still a lot of wasteful expenditure simply because what health care systems offer to various communities do not take into consideration specific needs tailored to each community.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the countries that are members of the United Nations (UN) want to make good quality universal health coverage for everyone a possibility by 2030. It has taken many years to get to the point where we are now. While it’s better than it was, there is still a long way to go. Global effort will be necessary.
What Can You Do?
The beauty of everyone working together is that it doesn’t fall onto one person’s shoulders to carry the needs of the entire world.
As an individual, the best thing that you can do is to make your voice heard. Social media is a great tool for change in the world. Look out for #HealthForAll and #WorldHealthDay and join in.
If you own a company or have some influence there, think about ways that you can help your employees when it comes to health care. Medical care has become increasingly more expensive. It’s estimated that many people spend 10%, if not more, of their salary on health care.
Your company may also be in a position to donate or get involved in rallies, fun days, or concerts aimed at spreading awareness. World Health Day is a great opportunity to arrange one of these events, or if you are unable to do that, to help out in some other way with existing events taking place in your area. Work for the government or the media? Collaborate and get the word out there.
Together, we can all make universal health coverage what it’s meant to be.