STAT

Opinion: Diagnostics are essential for universal health coverage to succeed

It's difficult to cure illness without first diagnosing it, making diagnostics as important as medicines and vaccines in delivering universal health care.
Source: PABALLO THEKISO/AFP/Getty Images

Forty years ago, 134 countries pledged to assure “Health For All” by the year 2000. They failed to deliver on that pledge. Today, at least 400 million people have no access to basic medical care, and 40% of the world’s population lacks social security protection.

Health is a human right. Humanity’s failure to provide universal health coverage (UHC) is a violation of this right and must be addressed as a top priority. But it won’t truly happen unless the ability to detect illnesses and outbreaks is made an integral part of it.

Thankfully, universal health coverage has re-emerged as for the World Health Organization, and is an essential element of the Sustainable sets the following target for the year 2030: “Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health care services and access to safe, effective, quality, and affordable medicines and vaccines for all.”

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