Tuesday, June 28, 2011

[EQ] Universal health coverage: friend or foe of health equity?

Universal health coverage: friend or foe of health equity?


Davidson R Gwatkin a, Alex Ergo b

a Results for Development Institute, Washington, DC  USA

b Broad Branch Associates, Washington, DC, USA

The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9784, Pages 2160 - 2161, 25 June 2011


Website: http://bit.ly/mJpecA


“…..Once again, calls for universality are being heard from health advocates and planners. Last time around, such calls were for achieving the health-for-all goal at the 1978 Alma-Ata conference. Now they are re-emerging, as more limited but nonetheless stirring appeals to seek universal coverage or access in a wide range of health-related areas such as HIV/AIDS,1 reproductive health,2 health insurance,3 and free health services, particularly for women and children.4 Reflecting such interest, universal coverage will figure as the organising theme of a large WHO research meeting on Nov 16—19 2010.5


This quest for universal coverage is often advocated as a way of improving health equity. If fully achieved, it would clearly do so. Everyone—rich and poor, men and women, ethnic or religious majorities and minorities—would enjoy full equal access to the services concerned.

Such an achievement would obviate both the stigma thought to accompany use of services designed specifically for people who are poor, and the possibility that such services might be of low quality.

But beware—universal coverage is much more difficult to achieve than to advocate. And people who are poor could well gain little until the final stages of the transition from advocacy to achievement, if that coverage were to display a trickle-down pattern of spread marked by increases first in better-off groups and only later in poorer ones. Should the resulting rise in inequality endure for an extended time—or worse, become permanent as a drive for universal coverage falls short of fully realising its goal—the result would be to reduce rather than enhance health equity….”


Twitter http://twitter.com/eqpaho

 *      *     *
This message from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO/WHO, is part of an effort to disseminate
information Related to: Equity; Health inequality; Socioeconomic inequality in health; Socioeconomic
health differentials; Gender; Violence; Poverty; Health Economics; Health Legislation; Ethnicity; Ethics;
Information Technology - Virtual libraries; Research & Science issues.  [DD/ KMC Area]
Washington DC USA

“Materials provided in this electronic list are provided "as is". Unless expressly stated otherwise, the findings
and interpretations included in the Materials are those of the authors and not necessarily of The Pan American
Health Organization PAHO/WHO or its country members”.
PAHO/WHO Website
Equity List - Archives - Join/remove: http://listserv.paho.org/Archives/equidad.html
Twitter http://twitter.com/eqpaho

IMPORTANT: This transmission is for use by the intended
recipient and it may contain privileged, proprietary or
confidential information. If you are not the intended
recipient or a person responsible for delivering this
transmission to the intended recipient, you may not
disclose, copy or distribute this transmission or take
any action in reliance on it. If you received this transmission
in error, please dispose of and delete this transmission.

Thank you.

No comments: