Following is UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message on International Universal Health Coverage Day, observed on 12 December:
Today, the world marks the first International Universal Health Coverage Day. We do so because good health is a fundamental human right and crucial to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Quality physical and mental health services should be accessible to everyone, everywhere. Tragically, that is not the case for half the world’s population. And each year, 100 million people are driven into poverty because care costs far more than they could afford.
Such dire circumstances should befall no one – and do not have to. Many countries around the world have shown that it is possible to provide universal health care. They have also demonstrated that improving health is a smart investment in human capital that helps to promote economic growth and reduce poverty.
Strong leadership and community engagement are essential in ensuring that all people get the health care they need. On this International Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to a world with health for all.