Jeanette Vega, Managing Director, Rockefeller Foundation Statement on UN General Assembly Resolution on Universal Health Coverage
With the passage of a UN General Assembly Resolution on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the world demonstrated that UHC is becoming the most important and relevant topic in the global health sector – setting the stage for UHC to be the central health goal in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goal framework. By gaining support from every corner of the globe, most prominently, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Norway, Thailand, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom, today’s resolution recognizes the support for UHC from a diverse set of countries and economies.
In 2009, the Rockefeller Foundation devoted $100 million aimed at transforming health systems for universal health. The Foundation supported the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) World Health Report on financing for universal coverage that identified the issue as the premier public health issue of our time. Rockefeller partners in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Ghana as well as partners at the regional and global level are working tirelessly to support efforts moving towards UHC. Today’s vote is recognition that global political leaders are ready and willing to tackle this issue.
Most importantly, today’s vote should shine a light on the 150 million people worldwide that face catastrophic healthcare expenditures, which push approximately 25 million households into poverty each year. It is in support of the over three billion people globally that finance their health care primarily out of pocket, and finally it recognizes the many people – particularly women and children – who have to choose between healthcare and education.
The Rockefeller Foundation commends the countries that co-sponsored this important resolution, and is excited to work with our grantees to continue the critical work needed to achieve UHC around the world.