Health Systems Strengthening for Universal Health Coverage

Under Universal Health Coverage all people have access to adequate healthcare without suffering financial hardship paying for it.

Access to healthcare is a human right. Yet, more than half of the world’s population currently does not have full coverage of essential health services. Over 90 million people a year are pushed into extreme poverty (having to live on less than US$1.90 a day) because they have to pay for health care or are unable to work due to illness. In 2005, all member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) subscribed to the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) – ensuring that all people have access to healthcare without suffering financial hardship paying for it. 

’Universal health coverage (UHC) means that all people and communities can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship’ (WHO, 2019).

Ensuring financial protection for all is a complex and lengthy undertaking that raises numerous systemic – and redistributive – questions about how a state intends to guarantee and promote a basic human right of its citizens. Supporting partner countries in this endeavour is one of the priorities of German development cooperation in health and social protection, as reflected in the articles, events and studies presented on this page. 

Stories about Universal health coverage

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Events about Universal health coverage

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Studies about Universal Health Coverage

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Out of harm’s way

Date January 2011
German support for countries reducing the harm of injecting drug use and HIV

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