Converging global health agendas and universal health coverage: financing whole-of-government action through UHC+

Elsevier, The Lancet Global Health, Volume 11, December 2023
Collins T.E., Akselrod S., Atun R., Bennett S., Ogbuoji O., Hanson M. et al.

UN member states have committed to universal health coverage (UHC) to ensure all individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. Although the pursuit of UHC should unify disparate global health challenges, it is too commonly seen as another standalone initiative with a singular focus on the health sector. Despite constituting the cornerstone of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals, UHC-related commitments, actions, and metrics do not engage with the major drivers and determinants of health, such as poverty, gender inequality, discriminatory laws and policies, environment, housing, education, sanitation, and employment. Given that all countries already face multiple competing health priorities, the global UHC agenda should be used to reconcile, rationalise, prioritise, and integrate investments and multisectoral actions that influence health. In this paper, we call for greater coordination and coherence using a UHC+ lens to suggest new approaches to funding that can extend beyond biomedical health services to include the cross-cutting determinants of health. The proposed intersectoral co-financing mechanisms aim to support the advancement of health for all, regardless of countries’ income.