Launch of a Joint Vision for Health Systems Strengthening for UHC

A milestone in Germany’s support for a coherent approach towards realising Universal Health Coverage

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director General, and new members of UHC2030

The strategy paper “Healthy systems for UHC – a joint vision for healthy lives” was launched at a high level side event of the 70th World Health Assembly on 24 May. The document is the result of a comprehensive international consultation process, significantly shaped by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The vision outlines health system performance dimensions and policy entry points to promote Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through Health Systems Strengthening. In the coming years it will serve as key reference document for the UHC2030 partnership and and as a broader resource for the global community to inform collaboration on the HSS and UHC>

Over 100 WHA delegates attended the high level side event entitled “Partnership matters: Achieving stronger health systems in practice”, which was co-sponsored by China, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Myanmar, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, supported by the European Union and organised by UHC2030, P4H, Global Fund, World Bank Group and World Health Organization.

Ambassador Dr. Ulrich Seidenberger, Germany’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva, welcomed them and underlined the importance which governments worldwide attach to improving coordination for Health Systems Strengthening and UHC.

A comprehensive consultation process is bearing fruit

Tim Evans, World Bank Group, presenting the Joint Vision Paper

In September 2015, at the 2030 Agenda Summit in New York, the German Federal Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel, and the WHO Director General, Dr Margret Chan, laid the foundations for what turned into a year-long consultation process to which more than 200 health actors from governments, NGOs, multilateral organisations and private foundations contributed.

At today’s event, the result of this process – the Joint Vision Paper “Healthy systems for UHC – a joint vision for healthy lives” was handed over to the UHC2030 partnership as key reference document and resource to inform its members’ collaboration for health systems strengthening for UHC.

Dr Margaret Chan also joined the delegates and expressed her delight over seeing this initiative bearing fruit. She thanked Germany and Japan for taking the topics forward as part of their G7 and G20 presidencies and emphasized the importance of strong partnerships for the global community’s journey towards UHC.

A growing network

Dr Carmen Castillo, Minister of Health, Cile, joining UHC2030

Ambassador Peter Sorensen, Permanent Representative of the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in Geneva, welcomed Chile, Indonesia, Jordan, Thailand and South Africa as new signatories of the UHC2030 partnership and encouraged further countries to follow their example. Ambassador Andre Pung, Permanent Representative of Estonia, was the first to accept the invitation, announcing his country’s determination to join UHC2030 as new member in the near future.

New momentum for Health Systems Strengthening for UHC

With UHC2030 as its multi-stakeholder platform and with the Joint Vision paper orienting its next steps, the growing movement in support of Health Systems Strengthening for UHC has gained new momentum. Dr Dagmar Lohan, senior policy officer at Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, is glad about this development: “The launching of the Joint Vision is an important milestone - but it is just the beginning of a longer-term engagement in strengthening health systems in practice. We look forward to continuing our support to it.”

Natalia Lohmeyer, June 2017

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