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IAPO calls on WHO to define universal health coverage
by IAPO at 11:00AM Friday 24 May 2013 (News)

Geneva, Switzerland, 24 May 2013 – The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) today urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to define universal health coverage and support countries in its implementation worldwide. This request was central to an intervention made by Carol Bennett, IAPO Board Member, on universal health coverage at the Sixty-sixth session of the WHO World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. The following is taken from IAPO’s statement:

“…Universal health coverage is critical to delivering better health care. Expanding universal health coverage is an opportunity to ensure health for all, tackle poverty and encourage sustainable development. However, what is meant by universal health coverage is often poorly understood. IAPO calls on WHO to more clearly define universal health coverage and to scale-up support for Members States to implement or expand it.

In addition, the definition of universal health coverage must reference patient-centred healthcare and acknowledge its key principles of respect for the patient, choice and empowerment, patient involvement in health policy, access to safe quality and appropriate services and treatments, support for patients’ needs and information.  Only with such an approach, will the goals of universal health coverage be achieved.

Access to essential medicines is vital in achieving universal health coverage and is one of the pillars of primary care. IAPO is pleased to see that the global monitoring framework for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases includes a target of 80% availability of the affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, by 2025. With the expansion of universal health coverage, there is an opportunity to build on WHO’s progress towards ensuring access to essential medicines in all WHO strategies, including the post-2015 development agenda.

IAPO will continue to support WHO and other interested stakeholders in their efforts to expand universal health coverage worldwide.”

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View IAPO's comments on universal health coverage

View the press release as a PDF

Note to Editors:
About IAPO: IAPO is the only global alliance representing patients of all nationalities across all disease areas and promoting patient-centred healthcare worldwide. Our members are patients’ organizations working at the local, national, regional and international levels to represent and support patients, their families and carers. IAPO has over 200 members which span over 60 countries and 60 disease areas and through its membership represents an estimated 365 million patients worldwide.


For further information, please contact:
Mr Jeremiah Mwangi, Policy & External Affairs Director, IAPO
T: +44 20 7250 8082; Email: jeremiah@patientsorganizations.org
Website: www.patientsorganizations.org

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