Universal Health Coverage Day, commemorated each 12 December, is the anniversary of the first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, everywhere.
UHC Day has become the annual rallying point for the growing global movement for health for all. Each year on 12.12, voices are raised to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, to call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and to remind the world that health for all is imperative for the world we want.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means everyone can access the quality health services they need without financial hardship.
UHC is a means to promote the human right to health. Universal health coverage has been included in the new Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that all UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030. This includes financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
The theme for 2021 is "Leave No One’s Health Behind: Invest in Health Systems for All".
The COVID-19 pandemic has been an ongoing moment of reckoning for health systems around the world. While the harsh lessons of our global situation are far from new—and while fears and injustices now making headlines reflect the daily reality of millions before the pandemic—the sheer scale of this crisis has sparked new urgency around health systems and universal health coverage. More leaders than ever are paying attention, and more people than ever are rising to demand change.
The pandemic is testing our resolve to deliver health for all and threatens to undo decades of progress. It has disrupted delivery of essential health services in many countries, stretched resources to the limits, and revealed the impact of decades of underinvestment in primary care and essential public health functions.
A series of pulse surveys reveal slow-downs and setbacks in delivering key health services and reaching globally agreed targets. Initiatives to boost immunization, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health, care for the ageing, and to end diseases have all been negatively impacted.
This puts additional pressure on vulnerable population groups with unmet health needs. Even before the crisis, at least half of the world’s population did not have full coverage of essential health services and about 100 million people were pushed into extreme poverty because they have had to spend on health care beyond their ability to pay.
Why Health for all
There is growing global consensus that universal health coverage is a smart investment and an achievable goal everywhere. World leaders have affirmed that health is a human right, that no one should go bankrupt when they get sick, and that universal health coverage underpins our collective security and prosperity. Universal health coverage improves how health care is financed and delivered – so it is more accessible, more equitable and more effective.
The goal of universal health coverage is to ensure that all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them. This requires:
Source : WHO
There is enough evidence that supports the fact that improving the quality of care in Labour rooms especially on the day of birth, is central to maternal and neonatal survival. Recognizing this fact, Government of India has launched Laqshya- Labor Room Quality Improvement Initiative.
LaQshya is expected to improve the quality of care that is being provided to the pregnant mother in the Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres, thereby preventing the undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth. This initiative will be implemented in Government Medical Colleges (MCs) besides District Hospitals (DHs), and high delivery load Sub-District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs).
The initiative plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and also incentivize facilities achieving the targets outlined. The goal of this initiative is to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with the care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OT and ensure respectful maternity care.