A WHO report monitoring progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) was released yesterday. It reports the proportion of the population that can access essential health services, and the proportion that are pushed into poverty by healthcare expenses, for 183 countries. Staff of my unit were responsible for the service coverage measurement, and estimated that at least half the world’s population do not have full coverage of essential services. The report is available at http://www.who.int/healthinfo/universal_health_coverage/en/
The report uses 16 essential health services as indicators of the level and equity of coverage in countries. More details on the service coverage index have been published simultaneously in the Lancet Global Health:
Currently, 800 million people spend at least 10 percent of their household budgets on health expenses for themselves, a sick child or other family member. For almost 100 million people these expenses are high enough to push them into extreme poverty, forcing them to survive on just $1.90 or less a day.