How to Finance Universal Health Coverage
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) aims to ensure that everyone has access to good quality healthcare without facing financial hardship as a result of benefitting from these services. Nouria Brikci, a Senior Consultant for Oxford Policy Management believes that it can be achieved by all countries, but it will take time.
The type of health services available, population coverage and also the level of financial protection all vary from country to country. “I think that it’s a really good ambition for every country to have, it is a long journey, it has taken countries like Thailand 30 years to achieve it, it takes a lot of political will, it takes resources, but these resources can be found,” added Brikci.
The timeline varies from country to country: while Morocco hopes to achieve it in a few years, other countries have longer-term ambitions of ten years or more. This depends partly on political will, as Brikci explained that some countries still don’t see the value of having a population that is in good health, while other governments would like to offer this to the entire population as fast as possible.
Brikci warned that attempting to achieve UHC in a short timeframe is perhaps too ambitions a target. “We need to be reasonable in terms of how long it takes to really strengthen the system so that it’s able to offer the quality of care that it should, and ensuring that everyone has the financial protection that they need to be able to access those services.”
In the following video Brikci discusses how feasible it is to finance UHC [00:00 – 01:45], the different components of health financing [01:45 – 04:16], and what arguments a health minister can bring to a finance minister in order to increase the budget allocated to health [04:16 – 06:44].
This interview summarises thematic discussions held during the 2016 edition of the annual Health Seminar, organised by the DEVCO Health Team and attended by EU experts from HQ and EU Delegations around the world.