The Impact of Universal Coverage Schemes in the Developing World

The review indicates that UHC interventions in low- and middle-income countries improve access to health care. It also shows, though less convincingly, that UHC often has a positive effect on financial protection, and that, in some cases it seems to have a positive impact on health status. The review also shows that the effect of UHC schemes on access, financial protection, and health status varies across contexts, UHC scheme design, and UHC scheme implementation processes. Regarding UHC design features, the review shows that there are several common features across countries and regions, such as the coexistence of UHC schemes, heterogeneity in design and organization, a widespread effort to include the poor in the schemes, and the prevalence of mixed financing sources (contributions plus taxes). Yet, in a majority of cases, evidence is scarce and inconclusive on the impact of specific UHC design features on their intended outcomes.

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