In 2016, the question we face is not “if” but “when.” Having made the case for health for all, we must now accelerate progress. This Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day, we will tell the human stories behind health system gaps, hold leaders accountable for more and smarter investments, and underscore that universal health coverage is imperative for the future we want by 2030.
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In the spirit of acting with ambition, call on the incoming UN Secretary-General and WHO Director-General to officially recognize December 12 as Universal Health Coverage Day. Sign to ensure that the mandate of the 12.12.2012 UN Resolution is never forgotten.
To the incoming UN Secretary-General and WHO Director-General,
We urge you to officially recognize 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day. This will cement the annual rallying point for the growing “health for all” movement and ensure that the mandate of the 12.12.12 United Nations resolution on universal health coverage is never forgotten.
On 12 December 2012, the United Nations unanimously endorsed a historic resolution urging all countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage as an essential priority for international development. Building on this resolution, global partners spearheaded the first-ever Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) on 12 December 2014 to unite health and development advocates behind a shared goal: ensuring that all people and communities can access quality health services without suffering financial hardship. On that day, a new Coalition of 587 organizations in 109 countries rallied together behind the goal of health for all, everywhere.
Fueled by the lessons of Ebola and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, UHC Day 2015 saw even greater action from the UHC Coalition, which by then had grown to 730+ organizations. As groups worldwide voiced their demand for UHC, leaders marked 12.12.15 with statements of support and new commitments to health for all. South Africa’s Minister of Health released a white paper outlining reforms for the country’s National Health Insurance; Japan’s Prime Minister released a Lancet commentary on the role of UHC in building peace and health security; your predecessors Ban Ki-moon and Margaret Chan both issued statements marking the day.
UHC Day 2016 is on track to break records. Now 840+ organizations strong, the UHC Coalition is prepared to host more than 100+ grassroots activities around the world, and 12.12.16 will mark the first meeting of the International Health Partnership for UHC 2030 steering committee.
THE CASE FOR OFFICIAL RECOGNITION
Official recognition of 12 December as “International UHC Day” would:
- Cement a milestone to hold leaders accountable. Official recognition would add gravitas and permanence to UHC Day, ensuring that the mandate of the 12.12.2012 UN Resolution is never forgotten. It would serve as a powerful reminder that UHC, including financial risk protection, is a priority for all countries and guarantee an occasion each year to take stock of progress and hold governments, donors and all stakeholders accountable for leaving no one behind.
- Galvanize a political movement, validating the efforts of 840+ partners in the UHC Coalition thus far and encouraging advocates to sustain momentum for years to come.
- Harmonize advocacy efforts for greater impact, creating an incentive to draw connections among health and development issues—including, but not limited to, infectious and non-communicable diseases, health systems strengthening, girls’ and women’s health and rights, pandemic preparedness, climate change and primary health care.
- Expand the movement, increasing the visibility of our cause and creating opportunities to bring new advocates into the fold.
OUR CALL TO ACTION
As leaders at the helm of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, this is an opportunity to take a stand on behalf of the global community you serve, represent and lead.
We know you agree that health is a human right, that no one should go bankrupt when they get sick, and that universal health coverage underpins our collective security and prosperity.
Help ensure that the mandate of the 12 December 2012 resolution is never forgotten. Send a message that all countries will be held accountable to the commitments they made to deliver health for all. Begin your legacy by establishing the first and only international awareness day focused on building health systems that put the poorest first, not last; reaching everyone based on need, not ability to pay; and fulfilling the human right to health without financial hardship.
Thank you for your consideration.