Around half of the world's population does not have access to essential health services, and 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty by healthcare costs.
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While government funding of healthcare is crucial, the private sector plays a vital role in increasing access to services and treatments, as well as boosting innovation. To mark the International Universal Health Coverage Day, the UHC2030 Private Sector Constituency, a group hosted by the World Economic Forum, invited members to share their thoughts on how to ensure everyone has access to healthcare by 2030.
Achieving UHC, an audacious goal, is indispensable for sustainable growth. Despite progress in access to affordable quality healthcare, essential health services are out of reach for half of the world’s population and a hundred million, each year, are pushed into poverty owing to out of pocket health expenditure. Aggravating the issues of access and affordability, is the challenge to enhance preparedness to shift from “sick care” to “preventive care”. Social and innovative mechanisms are needed to redesign healthcare systems. The principle of “PPO-Predict, Prevent and Overcome” emerges as key component of this design. Emphasis on prevention is not only possible, but essential and achievable through right digital health tools. This is a narrow window of opportunity calling for pooling of resources by payors, providers and policy makers that will strengthen integrated healthcare.
If we got it right, healthcare would mean optimal health for every person. Health records will no longer be just a summary of illnesses. Everyone is empowered and enabled to take charge of their own health. Technology and analytics will allow you to be aware of your health risks, understand your medical condition and know your financial coverage. You will have full clarity on your options and be in control to track progress of your treatment. Telemedicine, monitoring devices, autonomous delivery will open a world of customized convenience. Health clinics will truly be a place of healing with offerings of nutrition, exercise, rest and not just medicine.
Eliminating malaria and providing UHC go hand in hand: the countries with the highest burden of malaria also have some of the lowest-ranked health coverage in the world. Malaria can’t be eradicated without reaching the most vulnerable populations: refugees, pregnant women and children under the age of 5 (especially infants). The data-driven ‘last mile first’ approach for malaria interventions is an entry point to health services, expanding access and capacity to address other health issues, preventing resurgences that burden health systems, and providing a proven return on investment in terms of agricultural productivity, economic growth, and women’s empowerment and education. If we get it right, we will end malaria for good as an essential strategy for achieving UHC.
Global Self-Care Federation
The year is 2030, and the promise of UHC is finally a reality. The burden of non-communicable diseases has been alleviated, through effective control and prevention of minor illnesses. Individuals have become active agents of their own health, and are empowered, informed and increasingly health literate. They are fully aware of the preventive self-care measures and interventions to be taken in the context of minor illnesses or chronic diseases. Healthcare systems have transitioned their focus from an approach of managing disease to protecting health. A reduction in the number of non-critical consultations linked to helping people stay healthier has finally eased the workload on strained healthcare systems, enabling resources to be allocated more efficiently and effectively.
Most health interventions can be provided at the primary care level, provided this essential health infrastructure is well equipped, staffed and supplied and easily accessible, be it digital or physical. For those conditions that cannot be treated at primary care, it is crucial that the referral to higher levels of care works well. Improvement of access to quality care and well-functioning referral system enhances socioeconomic development and is critical to future health, community wellbeing enabling universal coverage by 2030.
Our UHC 2030 vision is that affordable, quality services and medicines reach every single person in every single community on the planet. This will not involve simply strengthening existing systems, but re-inventing how healthcare systems work. Patients will be at the centre of this system, accessing AI-driven diagnostic services, and interacting with healthcare professionals through virtual platforms. Regular, in-person check-ups and screening will have shifted to community-based health workers, equipped with portable, handheld devices. Patients will order affordable medicines and services via a mobile phone, delivered directly to even the most remote regions, removing barriers of cost and distance. This vision will only be achieved through increased innovation in public-private partnerships: Collecting data and using predictive analytics to pinpoint the needs of hard-to-reach populations; digitalizing supply chain and logistic networks to reduce inefficiency and reach populations far from care; and empowering communities to take a greater role in determining how services are offered.
Mobility devices and related rehabilitation are critical to health and wellbeing, enabling active participation in society and the leading of an independent and dignified life. Nonetheless today in many low- and middle income countries over 90 percent of persons in need do not have access to such products and services, often exposing them to poverty and exclusion. By 2030, all people in need have access to quality and affordable mobility devices and related services as part of UHC. Governments see service provision as an investment – not a cost – and recognize its socioeconomic value. They build transparent and outcome-based reimbursement systems ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently, meeting the demands of those in need. New technologies increase the productivity and quality of services.
By 2030, we envision a world where all people, regardless of where they live, can live a healthy life, free of chronic disease. For those living with non-communicable diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, we believe they should have access to quality, affordable healthcare. To achieve this, and to deliver equitable healthcare access to billions of underserved patients in resource-limited settings, we know that this will require a fundamentally different approach. We can co-create technology-enabled chronic disease management service delivery models to address critical barriers to care. By bringing together partners across the different sectors, we can create a healthcare experience that is desirable for patients and ensure that an end-to-end ecosystem is being planned for and financed.
To achieve UHC, we believe an integrated healthcare delivery approach is needed to improve access to healthcare for all. We need to move towards centered care approaches and maximize the use of all medical technologies innovations to provide the right therapy at the right time for every patient and citizen. Access to medical technologies is a critical element of universal health coverage. New medical technologies, including digital technologies, have the potential to transform service delivery at scale. Health information systems are also needed for UHC analysis and reporting. For example, over 1 billion people have uncontrolled hypertension, and this is an area that medical technologies can play a key role in the prevention, diagnosis, management and treatment.
Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI)
Let’s put the money where it matters. Becoming the third largest economy in the world by 2024 demands a healthy workforce. While the Ayushman Bharat policy has been a watershed innovation in universal healthcare in India, the Government must increase public healthcare spending from 1.02% to 2.5% of GDP, as envisaged in the National Health Policy 2017. Healthcare financing through state sponsored models where every citizen participates ensures that the non-insured, non-reimbursed middle class does not go missing. For UHC 2030 to succeed, the focus must remain on being innovative, both in new financing models as well as in policy making.
MSD (known as Merck in the U.S. and Canada)
We believe that all people should have access to quality and effective essential healthcare. Private sector investments into UHC can only succeed within an ecosystem that sets ethical frameworks, ensures quality of health products and services, accelerates access and recognizes the value of these health products and services, promotes responsiveness and inclusiveness of all stakeholders, and supports incentives for future innovation. We will continue our work as a partner in achieving and sustaining Universal Health Coverage.
Mission & Co
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that every person in the world should have the means to be in control of their own health, within an ecosystem that is accessible and equitable, and which places them at the centre. Innovations that deliberately target under-served communities provide the best means to achieve UHC. Yet many of these life-saving innovations lack access to capital, technical assistance and markets to scale.
By 2030, Mission & Co envisions a world where health for all is a reality for 100% of humanity. Where health workers and patients have an abundance of choice, where collaboration between different stakeholders is the norm, where effective innovations have scaled and empowered new communities, and where the last mile is the first mile. This is our UHC2030 vision and we will achieve it by placing health into the hands of those left furthest behind.
The World Economic Forum, the international organization for public private cooperation, hosts the Private-Sector Constituency of UHC2030. The UHC2030 Private-Sector Constituency is a convening platform for private sector entities wishing to exchange and collaborate on universal health coverage. The Constituency accepts new private sector members every three months. For-profit private entities that are directly working on strengthening health systems can apply.