UN resolution on Universal Health Coverage

Published: 12th December 2012

It is expected today that the UN General Assembly will pass a resolution on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), calling on UN member states to ensure that health systems avoid direct payments, so that even those who are unable to pay for treatment receive health care.

Oxfam’s health policy advisor, Ceri Averill, said:

“Charging people user fees for healthcare is by far the biggest obstacle to achieving Universal Health Coverage. Every year 100 million people are pushed into poverty because they have to pay out of pocket expenses for life-saving health services and many go without treatment altogether.

“To make universal access to healthcare a reality for all citizens will need high level commitment at the national and international level and this UNGA resolution marks an important step in achieving such commitment.”

User fees for health care are a life or death issue for millions of people in poor countries. Oxfam believes that governments and rich country donors must strengthen state capacities to expand free publicly provided health care, a proven way to save millions of lives worldwide.


Notes to editors:
In September the Foreign Policy and Global Health group (comprised of 7 countries – France, Thailand, Senegal, Norway, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia) proposed a resolution to step up global commitments on universal access to health care. This is the first time this issue has been tabled for negotiations at the UN.
Sponsors for the resolution
: Brazil, France, Indonesia, Norway, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Contact information

Sarah Dransfield, Oxfam press officer, on +44 (0)1865 472269, +44 (0)7767 085636 or email sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk