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Universal Health Coverage: Beyond Rhetoric

This paper raises critical questions around the wide and growing enthusiasm for Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Typically defined as a health financing system based on pooling of funds to provide health coverage for a country’s entire population, it often takes the form of a ‘basic package’ of services made available through health insurance and provided by a growing private sector. Such programs are now zealously promoted by global health agencies, yet the evidence to support their implementation remains extremely thin. The paper argues that re-imagining public health care – rather than the private sellout of health systems via UHC – is the only way forward in building truly universal health outcomes.

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Universal health: From private coverage to public care 

The universal health coverage agenda is opening the door for privatization of public health systems in the global South. In India, insurance-based coverage has skewed public health priorities and starved primary care. This animation video calls on people everywhere to mobilize around public alternatives to achieve health for all. Watch it on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzNS5jd-LTY)! (Spanish subtitles available)

Author/Source: 
Amit Sengupta
Date: 
9 Jan 2014
Type: 
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