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Universal Health Coverage Day 2019: ”Keep the Promise’’

by Public Health Update

Universal Health Coverage Day 2019: ”Keep the Promise’’

Universal Health Coverage Day on 12 December is the annual rallying point for the growing movement for #HealthForAll. It marks the anniversary of the United Nations’ historic and unanimous endorsement of universal health coverage in 2012. The main objective of  UHC Day is to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage (UHC).


The theme of UHC Day 2019 is ‘Keep the Promise’

In September, all UN Member States agreed to a Political Declaration on UHC. Heads of state, at the High-Level Meeting on UHC at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 23 September 2019, demonstrated strong political vision and commitment to ensuring UHC for the people they serve. In the resulting political declaration, UN Member States recognized the importance of primary health care as “the cornerstone of a sustainable health system for universal health coverage and health-related Sustainable Development Goals”.  Now, UHC advocates will take their turn to send them a message and this year’s UHC Day campaign theme says it loud and clear: Keep the Promise.

  • We need to see action plans to guarantee health as a right, not a privilege. 
  • We need to see real investment in a society where all people—regardless of gender, race, religion, citizenship, age, ability, sexual orientation, or wealth—can get the quality health care they need and trust without facing financial hardship. 
  • We need to see strong, equitable health systems that truly leave no one behind. 

12.12: Take Action

Spotlight the promises that have been made: The most ambitious and comprehensive political declaration in history only means something if people know about it. This UHC Day, highlight what your country promised at the HLM, and why we need to follow through.

Get leaders on the record, and get specific: “Health for All” is much easier said than done. This 12.12, clarify where your leaders stand. Host a public rally, engage media or invite policymakers to speak – and demand to know what changes they will make for your community, and when.

Make sure the right voices are in the room: We can’t change the system without changing whose voices take priority. Use your platforms to meaningfully engage health workers, young people and communities whose rights, needs and experiences have been sidelined for too long.

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