Health for All

Universal Health Coverage Day, 12 December 2015

Universal Health Coverage has been described by the Director-General of the WHO as “the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer”. For the international UHC Day on 12 December 2015, our UHC experts present you with a selection of the most interesting reads on the topic.

One billion people lack access to needed health care and 100 million fall into poverty paying for care every year. To tackle this challenge, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to move towards worldwide Universal Health Coverage (UHC). This can be achieved by health systems strengthening (HSS), which is one of the main health priority fields in German development cooperation. Germany’s leading role is also emphasized through its ‘Healthy Systems – Healthy Lives’ Initiative, which was launched together with the World Health Organization (WHO) and aims to improve global efforts on HSS.

Below you find key reads on UHC from Healthy DEvelopments (on contributions by German Development Cooperation) and from other sources (key conceptual reads and country studies).

Selection of UHC reads on Healthy DEvelopments

Health insurance for India’s poor: Meeting the challenge with information technology (a publication in the ‘German Health Practice Collection’)

India has used a biometric Smart Card technology to expand its national health insurance scheme RSBY to around 120 million people and has thereby measurably increased access to health care.

Making leaders more effective: Assessing the first Leadership for Universal Health Coverage course (from our ‘in focus’ series)

The participants of the first GIZ/World Bank Leadership for Universal Health Coverage course share what they have learned. (See also our earlier article at the start of the course.)

Indonesia’s roadmap to universal health coverage: A story of Indonesian-German collaboration (from our ‘in focus’ series)

With support from Germany, Indonesia has embarked on an ambitious roadmap towards an integrated system for UHC.

Brokering social consensus: Germany’s support to social health insurance reform in Mongolia (a publication in the ‘German Health Practice Collection’)

Facilitating dialogue and consensus between key stakeholders while building technical capacity proved successful in breaking a deadlock in Mongolia’s move towards financing UHC.

Selection of key reads on UHC

Health systems financing: the path to universal coverage (WHO Report, 2010)

Building on new research and lessons learnt from country experience, international community can better support efforts in low income countries to achieve universal coverage and improve health outcomes.

Lancet Series on Universal Health Coverage (The Lancet, 2012)

Evidence on the links between expansions in coverage and population health outcomes, the political and economic dimensions of the transition to UHC and the examination of 9 countries in Africa and Asia which have implemented national health insurance reforms.

Tracking universal health coverage: First global monitoring report (WHO / World Bank, 2015)

Measuring health service coverage and financial protection to assess countries’ progress towards universal health coverage.

Going Universal: How 24 countries are implementing universal health coverage reforms from the bottom up (World Bank Study, 2015)

24 countries coping with five challenges while implementing universal health coverage reforms.

More information on UHC and the UHC Day can be found on

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