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April 7th is World Health Day, an initiative by the World Health Organisation to promote health in all its aspects and promote individual areas of health concern. This year, World Health Day addresses Universal Health Coverage around the world.

Universal Health Coverage (UHC)is about ensuring all people can get high quality health services, no matter their economic status, where they live or where they come from, their race, class, gender or identity. While it does not mean anyone should be able to have access to any medical procedure at any time, it does mean that people should not have to choose between the cost of healthcare and paying for education, food or housing.

 

UHC is vital to a country’s wellbeing and productivity. Removing the stresses of worrying about the costs of health frees up people to be more productive and entrepreneurial, thus making a country wealthier and happier.

Around the world, almost 100 million people are being pushed into extreme poverty, forced to live on less than two dollars a day, while over 800 million people spend at least 10% of their household budgets on healthcare. This trend is not isolated to countries outside Europe and North America. Different stresses on health services in many developed countries have pushed the costs of healthcare onto individuals. At least half the world’s people do not receive the essential healthcare they need.

On the WHO’s website, they are calling ‘on world leaders to live up to the pledges they made when they agreed the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, and commit to concrete steps to advance #HealthForAll. This means ensuring that everyone, everywhere can access essential quality health services without facing financial hardship.’

To help participate in the day, the WHO suggests people engage other in structured conversations, coming to whomever you’re speaking to with the demands of as large a group of people as possible. There is also the option of working with grassroots organisations that support universal healthcare initiatives.

Countries that have universal healthcare include Norway, Canada, Sweden, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, Kuwait, UAE, France, Germany, Ireland, Cyprus, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Israel.

The importance of universal healthcare should not be lost on the UK. Even though the UK has universal healthcare through the NHS, recent stresses on the health service in the UK in the winter should reinforce the value the institution and how fragile the health infrastructure in the UK can be.

TQUK is deeply invested in ensuring the strength of the healthcare system in the UK. We offer a multitude of health and social care qualifications, ensuring that learners receive the best possible education and training they can.

Want to join the conversation? Use the #HealthForAll hashtag on Twitter and get involved!

See you out there!