Universal health coverage is the provision of inclusive healthcare for all, where individuals and communities receive the care they need without suffering financial hardship. This includes essential health services ranging from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care2.
The Sustainable Development Goals call for universal health coverage by 20303, but there is still a long way to go to meet this target. In fact, every year approximately 100 million people are still pushed into extreme poverty (which means they are living on $1.90 or less per day) as a result of their healthcare expenditure4; and WHO estimates that up to 400 million people5 are still living without immunizations, family planning services and basic hospital access. How can we work to standardize healthcare and provide all populations with access to the care that they need?
Philips and other organizations can play a key strategic role in innovating solutions and business models for primary care, using new technologies to provide levels of care that were unthinkable in the past. We must particularly consider the widely neglected areas of technology and infrastructure, which are stifling care quality in many low-middle income countries.