International Universal Health Coverage Day

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2023 Date12 December 2023
2024 Date12 December 2024

International Universal Health Coverage Day

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International Universal Health Coverage Day is observed globally to advocate for the necessity of accessible, quality, and affordable health services to all individuals regardless of their socio-economic status. By promoting universal health coverage (UHC), this day underlines the importance of physical and mental health in achieving overall wellbeing and development of society. The observance emphasizes that achieving good health and wellbeing for all is integral to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encourages governments, individuals, and organizations to work towards the realization of these objectives.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Universal Health Coverage Day in 2012 after a push from the Rockefeller Foundation and global health advocates. In India, Universal Health Coverage Day carries an even greater significance considering the country's vast population, varied socio-economic conditions, and the considerable burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. The observance emphasizes the importance of health reforms that are focused on improving accessibility, availability, quality, and affordability of health services for every citizen. It reiterates the need for strengthening both healthcare infrastructure and human resources in the health sector.

International Universal Health Coverage Day is observed in India with various activities that include awareness campaigns, conferences, workshops, discussions and media interactions. It involves key stakeholders such as policymakers, health practitioners, non-profit organizations, community leaders and the general population. This is aimed at both creating awareness about UHC and discussing strategies to achieve it. In harmony with the global community, India observes International Universal Health Coverage Day on December 12th. The day serves as a reminder and a call to action for the government and all stakeholders to make health for all a reality.

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Facts about Universal Health Coverage

  • The theme for International Universal Health Coverage Day in 2023 was Build the World we Want: A Healthy Future for All.
  • According to the World Health Organization, in 2023, more than half of the worlds population does no have coverage for essential health services.
  • Studies have shown that individuals with health insurance are more likely to have regular check-ups, necessary prescriptions, and preventive care, leading to better overall health outcomes.
  • Due to the lack of adequate healthcare coverage, the out-of-pocket expenditure for Indian households is relatively high, accounting for approximately 63% of overall healthcare expenditure.
  • Under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, eligible families receive health coverage of up to INR 500,000 (approximately USD 6,800) per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization. This program aims to reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for healthcare services, which are significantly high in India.

Top things to do in India for this observance

  • Join the global campaign #ProtectEveryone. On December 12th, International Universal Health Coverage Day, there will be a twenty-four hour virtual rally. Create signs, take selfies, or get out and attempt the 2,030 steps challenge. Do all this and more and be sure to use the tag #ProtectEveryone on social media to raise awareness about Universal Health Coverage.
  • Explore health options in other countries. Health coverage ranges country by country, understand what's available should you plan to travel somewhere.
  • Offer your time and skills at local healthcare organizations. Help provide medical aid, counseling, or administrative support to those in need.
  • Encourage people to donate to charities and organizations working to improve healthcare access in India. Highlight initiatives focused on marginalized communities or specific health issues, and promote crowdfunding campaigns.

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