WHO Executive Board to discuss progress made and next steps towards achieving universal health coverage by 2030

27 January 2023

The 152nd session of the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) takes place on January 30–February 7, 2023. The Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members advising on the implementation of the decisions and policies of the Health Assembly and facilitating its work over a three-year term.

September 2023 will mark the halfway point of the timeline for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations General Assembly will convene a series of high-level meetings to review the progress achieved and put in place necessary actions towards 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. One of the meetings will focus on the Universal Health Coverage (UHC). WHO published an updated report on Reorienting health systems to primary health care as a resilient foundation for universal health coverage and preparations for a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on universal health coverage.

In its report, WHO states that 90% of essential interventions for UHC can be delivered through primary healthcare (PHC) that can enable integrated access to a full range of quality health services and products to improve prevention and risk-reduction approaches as well as people’s quality of life and well-being. The report also adds that UHC and PHC could be significantly scaled up to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes.

Inherent inequalities in access to care persist across and within European countries, themselves leading to significant inequalities in health outcomes for European citizens. For people living with diabetes (PwD) disrupted access to the medicines, supplies, technologies and care they require on an uninterrupted basis leads to sub-optimal glycaemic control and potentially life-threatening health complications over the long run. The most advanced, high-quality tools, treatment and technologies must be accessible to all PwD, regardless of the type of diabetes they live with, their age, income or literacy levels. Not only will this improve PwD’s quality of life but it also holds the potential to reduce overall health expenditure, or maintain health expenditure at similar levels, while extending or improving care.

The new report on achieving UHC will guide the discussion between WHO and its Member States (MS) on:

  • strengthening MS national plans and increasing government financing towards the progressive realisation of UHC;
  • reorienting MS national health system to primary health care as a foundation for UHC and health security;
  • and promoting equity through national, regional and global research, data and information systems to ensure that no one is left behind.

IDF Europe stands ready to participate in and provide its expertise during multisectoral and multistakeholder consultations to review progress and mobilise advocacy and action.