Just a few years ago, even the most steadfast advocates for universal health coverage would have been stunned to hear that the goal of achieving health for all would be embraced by every nation by 2015. But in September, global leaders made history by adopting the most ambitious development agenda yet, with achieving UHC among its chief aims.
The goal of UHC is to build systems that reach everyone with quality, essential health services without the threat of financial hardship. Because its core principles — “leave no one behind” and “prioritize the poorest” — underpin the entire sustainable development agenda, UHC is emerging as a unifying health objective for countries committed to the new goals.
Still, the real work to achieve UHC lies ahead. Reaching consensus on noble principles is far easier than making them a reality. It is important to be realistic about the Sustainable Development Goals’ country targets to ensure that promises don’t go unfulfilled.